By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Stumbo told reporters in Frankfort Thursday, the actress and activist is bright and articulate, and would appeal to voters because she's a "fresh face."

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Ashley Judd would be a formidable candidate if she runs for the U.S. Senate next year.

Stumbo told reporters Thursday in Frankfort that the actress and activist is bright and articulate and would appeal to voters because she's a "fresh face."

Judd, a Kentucky native who resides in Tennessee, has said she's considering a run for the Kentucky Senate seat held by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell has already opened a campaign office and has a bulging campaign fund as he prepares to seek a new six-year term in 2014.

Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat, says it is a winnable race for Democrats. But he says Judd would have a tough time carrying eastern Kentucky unless she changes her position on mountaintop removal mining. She is an outspoken opponent of the coal-removal method.

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