Kentucky House Speaker encouraging Ashley Judd to run for Senate

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“When I talk to her I’m going to encourage her, as I would any other candidate, that this is a winnable race,” Stumbo told reporters on Thursday.

However, Stumbo conceded "it'd be tough" to beat McConnell, who already has more than $7 million in his campaign coffers and is considered a savvy campaigner in Kentucky.

Judd in recent weeks has made steps toward a run, talking to state lawmakers and Democratic donors, as well as Washington Democrats about a potential campaign.

But some in Kentucky remain skeptical of her candidacy, expressing concern that Judd's positions on issues ranging from abortion rights to coal mining are too liberal for the state and could ultimately act as a drag on down-ballot candidates in 2014.

But Stumbo said that he didn't agree with that assessment.

"I don't think so, I think ... anybody that's articulate, anybody that's funded enough to get their message out there is gonna be a positive for the Democratic slate," he said.

In contrast, Stumbo said he believes McConnell could have a negative impact on Republicans in the state.

"Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellJuan Williams: GOP sounds the sirens over Trump This week: Zika, Puerto Rico fights loom ahead of recess Trump flexes new digital muscle MORE will drag the Republicans down, in much the same manner, my opinion, and I'll predict this, perhaps as the president did in Kentucky in this last race."

A number of recent polls have indicated McConnell may be vulnerable in 2014, boosting Democrats' hopes for the race.

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