Sandra Fluke, the Saxton native who gained national attention after her 2012 testimony before congressional Democrats, moved a step closer to a run for Congress this week in California.
Fluke, 32, has requested Democratic Party endorsement for a possible House run in the state's 33rd District, which covers part of Los Angeles County. Her name appears on a party website as a potential candidate for a pre-endorsement conference scheduled Sunday - an early step, but an important one for a congressional run.
Fluke became famous in 2012 when, as a Georgetown University graduate student, she testified before a congressional Democratic committee on the difficulty many female students face trying to afford birth control.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh accused Fluke of seeking public financing for her sex life, labeling her a "slut" and "prostitute" to his listeners. Amid a public outcry, Limbaugh apologized for his "insulting word choices," and several months later, Fluke was invited to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
A California resident, Fluke - a 1999 Tussey Mountain High School graduate - describes herself as a "social justice advocate" on social networking website LinkedIn.
With the announcement that Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., would retire this year, Fluke's name emerged on lists of possible successors.
"I'm flattered that I'm being discussed as a potential candidate," she told California radio station KPCC last week. "A number of folks I respect very deeply have reached out today and encouraged me to run. I am strongly considering running."
While Fluke has filed with the California Democratic Party, she has not filed with the Federal Election Commission, according to the commission's database.
The mere mention of Fluke's name stirred passionate responses Tuesday from supporters and opponents online. Liberals and women's rights advocates called on her to run and offered financial support, while some conservatives rehashed Limbaugh's comments and mocked her possible candidacy.
At least two other Democratic candidates have filed their interest for the seat, and several other names appeared as possible applicants.
A phone number for Fluke was not available Tuesday. A call to her family's home in Saxton was not answered.
Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.