Authors: Jeanette Torres
(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton has spoken to both Ashley Judd and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes about the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, encouraging them both to take a hard look at the race.
ABC News has learned that Clinton encouraged Judd to enter the race and promised he would help her, according to several Kentucky political sources. That conversation happened sometime between the November election and President Obama's second inauguration.
Earlier this month, Clinton met with Grimes, who is also weighing a bid, after he spoke at an event for former Kentucky Sen. Wendell Ford in Owensboro, Ky., according to multiple political sources in the state.
Clinton encouraged Grimes to consider taking on McConnell, adding as he did with Judd that he would support her.
The conversation was described as "candid" and "frank," with Clinton saying "all options are available" to the 34-year-old secretary of state and that she has "unlimited potential."
He did add that "bigger is always better," meaning that the Senate seat would be a better choice than running for the U.S. House in the sixth district or waging a gubernatorial bid in 2015. Both are options Grimes is said to be considering.
The same sources stressed that despite the time gap, Clinton wasn't choosing Grimes over Judd or changing allegiances, but that he expressed encouragement to both, believing it's unlikely that both would enter the race. Although it is possible the two could be in the primary against each other.
News of Clinton's meeting with Grimes was first reported by Politico.
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