Ashley Judd's address says Tennessee — she lives outside Nashville — but she's considering a run for Kentucky's senate seat, thanks to Kentucky's vague laws.
Talk of Tennessee resident Ashley Judd running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky has turned up ambiguity in state residency requirements that a legislative leader says need to be cleared up.
The U.S. Constitution requires only that Senate candidates be residents of the state they would represent "when elected." But Kentucky election law raises questions about whether candidates can have their names placed on ballots if they're not registered to vote in the state. That could be key, considering only legal residents can be registered to vote.
Judd, a former Kentucky resident now living outside of Nashville, is considering seeking the Democratic nomination in Kentucky to run against Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell next year.
State Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he's unaware of residency being an issue in the past in a U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.
"That's something that we ought to look at so someone can't live in say, oh, Tennessee and then just move here the day before the election to qualify under a vague residency law," Thayer said Tuesday.
University of Kentucky law professor Joshua A. Douglas said, constitutionally, Judd clearly doesn't have to live in Kentucky until she's elected. But Douglas said a legal argument could be made that, under state law, Juddhas to be a resident by Dec. 31 to run in next year's Democratic primary.
"If she's going to run for the Democratic nomination here, then she's certainly going to get her residency and register to vote before this date," Douglas said. "I'd be shocked if she didn't."