Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke has decided not to run for Congress this year, announcing that she will instead run for a Southern California state Senate seat.
Fluke, who rose to political stardom after conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" in response to testimony she gave during a congressional hearing on birth control coverage, had said she was "strongly considering" running for the Los Angeles-area congressional seat that will be vacated when longtime Rep. Henry Waxman retires at the end of his current term. Earlier this week, she filed paperwork to seek the endorsement of the California Democratic Party.
But the 32-year-old attorney and Democratic activist told the Los Angeles Times that she decided not to join the field of candidates running for the 33rd Congressional District. Instead, she will launch a bid for the state Senate district currently represented by a Democratic legislator also running for Waxman's seat. She confirmed the news on social media Wednesday morning, updating her Facebook page and sharing the decision with her 63,000 Twitter followers.
"Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to #runsandrarun! I've announced my candidacy for #CA State Senate," she tweeted.
Fluke, who has played a prominent role as a Democratic fundraiser and campaign surrogate in recent elections, told the Times she believes serving in the state Legislature "is a better way for me to advance the causes that are important to our community."
“I believe that the families and communities of this district -- from West Hollywood to West L.A. and from Santa Monica to Torrance and beyond -- deserve to have a fresh perspective from a new generation of progressive leadership in Sacramento, and I am eager to get to work fighting for the causes that matter most to our future as a community, state and nation," Fluke said.
The race for Waxman's seat has already attracted several other prominent Democrats, including former Los Angeles City Controller and 2013 mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel and state Sen. Ted Lieu, whose current district Fluke will now seek.