Sandra Fluke declines House bid, will run for state Senate

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Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke has decided against running for Congress.

Fluke late Tuesday said she would run for the state Senate in California instead of for the retiring Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-Calif.) House seat.

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The woman derided in 2012 by Rush Limbaugh as a "slut" because of her calls for birth control to be covered as part of health insurance said she strongly considered running for the House, but decided a campaign for the state Senate was the better fit.

“I am extremely moved by the outpouring of local and national support I have received since I announced that I was considering running for office. My entire career has been devoted to the public interest, whether representing victims of human trafficking or advocating for working families,” Fluke said in a statement.

“I am committed to continuing that fight in Sacramento, working to protect our environment, ensure our access to health care, and create the jobs that are desperately needed," she said. "While I strongly considered offering my candidacy for Congress, I feel there is a better way for me to advance the causes that are important to our community.”

Fluke soared to prominence as a Georgetown law student when she spoke on contraception coverage to congressional Democrats. Fluke had been invited by Democrats to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing, but Chairman Darrell Issa (D-Calif.), rejected the invitation.

That controversy received attention from Limbaugh, who described Fluke as a slut in comments he later apologized for and said were meant to be humorous. 

Fluke had submitted paperwork Friday in an effort to seek the state Democratic Party’s endorsement for Waxman's seat.
 
She now plans to run for the state Senate seat that will be vacated by Ted Lieu, who is running for Waxman’s seat. City Controller Wendy Greuel has also announced she’s running for the seat. 

Waxman’s district covers West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica — a heavily Democratic district but one where the race would involve a lot of money.

Waxman, 74, announced last month he will retire at the end of this year after serving 40 years in Congress.