Former Miss America may challenge McConnell
May 22nd, 2013
01:26 PM ET
8 years ago

Former Miss America may challenge McConnell

(CNN) – Ashley Judd is out, but Democrats in Kentucky may have another star on their Senate ticket in November.

Heather French Henry, who won the Miss America pageant in 1999, said she's considering a bid but hasn't made a final decision quite yet.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, French Henry said Tuesday she was "not ready to confirm or deny" that she was considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"I am completely honored that people are talking to me about this but I have made no decision," she said, according to the report.

McConnell isn't up for re-election until November 2014, but the race has drawn early headlines as Democrats consider stepping in. Actress Ashley Judd mulled a bid, eventually deciding against running after attack videos from McConnell started airing.

Privately, some Democrats worried Judd was too liberal a candidate for Kentucky, which hasn't sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, when Wendell Ford won re-election.

With Judd out of the race, Democratic eyes turned to Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State. Grimes has not ruled out a bid against McConnell in 2014, and was touted as a top potential candidate during a conference call with Democratic officials earlier this year.

In addition to considering her own bid, French Henry is open to supporting Grimes, according to the Herald-Leader.

On her official website, French Henry is listed as a veterans advocate, author/illustrator, artist/fashion illustrator, fashion designer, and public speaker. Her biography notes she received a bachelor's and master's degree in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati.

Her year as Miss America was spent advocating for veterans' issues around the country, including lobbying Congress to pass the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Act.

She's married to Steve Henry, the former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, who himself ran for U.S. Senate in 1998. He was embroiled in numerous controversies during his tenure, including using state employees to work at his wedding, and spending state funds to travel to the Miss America pageant.

In 2003, French Henry struck and killed a bicyclist who was crossing the street outside of a sidewalk. Criminal charges were not filed, and French Henry later recounted the accident and spoke of her lingering guilt during an appearance on Oprah.

Filed under: Kentucky • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Ol' Yeller

    @just askin "talk about a pathetically weak bench"
    Sure seems that everbody whose name is even floated out there gets mconnel and his bunch to wetting their collective drawers. I think the Dems are putting these names out so early to keep mitch 'the former senator from ky' mcconnel and his team in active campaign mode... what did they do when Judd's name came out and they started their mudslinging? They immediately went to the victim card because their team leaked (blamed it on a bug). He's toast.... and what is really nice.... he knows it. Yeeeha

    May 22, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    Let's face it.... Mitch McConnell will never be voted out. The man will croak in office. He's a good ole boy and the state is KY. They are known for Bourbon, breeding and racing horses, but not intelligence.

    We all know the GOP mantra, if we can win fair and square.....CHEAT.

    May 22, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    Oops that should have read can't win fair and square.......

    May 22, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. just sayin

    California Gary
    Well Ms. Henry, get ready for the McConnell mud machine to focus on you.

    it is called the obama strategy and worked against romney so be prepared for the same treatment. funny to see the libs complaining about their own strategies being used against them.

    May 22, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Bill

    McConnell will be ousted from office, regardless of who runs against him. Bozo the Clown could beat him. Probably the most vulnerable member of congress right now. He is ineffective, disliked (a whopping 30% approval in KY), he is too old and all he does is obstruct. Goodbye Mitch, it's over.

    May 22, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Good. Someone else to scare the heebee jeebees out of McConnell, causing him to drain his war chest on negative ads. Additional potential opponents are still yet to be named.

    May 22, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    Do you have a job Just?? Or are my tax dollars supporting you? You seem to have a lot of time on your hands.....

    May 22, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "it is called the obama strategy and worked against romney so be prepared for the same treatment."
    Hello!!!! That wasn't a strategy. Their was a republican primary where we got to hear how loony and radical the RepubliKlan Party was.

    May 22, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Any one who votes that Mitch mCcollel got to be an idiot.

    May 22, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    just sayin' wrote:

    it is called the obama strategy and worked against romney so be prepared for the same treatment. funny to see the libs complaining about their own strategies being used against them.
    Mitt Romney could have ran ads to counter the ads that came out during the late spring and early summer of 2012 The problem is that he couldn't spend RNC money on ads until he was officially the nominee.

    In other words, he could have spent his own campaign cash, but CHOSE not to do so. Romney felt the best treatment for the talking points was to not distinguish them with a response. That strategy backfired on him. His own gaffes made everything negative being said about him appear to be the true, because it was.

    May 22, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    @justsaying, the twit had enough garbage to fill more vaults than his money cache.
    The tea trolls, high up repugs and moneyed people (kochs and alderson sp? because who remembers him) picked him because he looked presidential even if he walked like he had something up his behind.
    They then gave him the lying altar boy as a running mate and that sealed the deal along with the 47% comments.
    Any clean pots you need to go wash?

    May 22, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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