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Melissa Gilbert announces a run for Congress

Melissa Gilbert, the actor who gained fame playing Laura Ingalls on TV’s Little House on the Prairie, says she’s running for a mid-Michigan congressional seat as a Democrat.

  Gilbert made the announcement via e-mail and social media. Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District seat is currently held by freshman Republican Mike Bishop. Gilbert has lived in Howell since 2013 with her husband, actor Timothy Busfield. He is a Michigan native.

Gilbert is a former actors union president and publicly backed Democrat Mark Schauer in the 2014 race for governor.

Michigan Republicans and the Bishop campaign wasted no time reminding people of Gilbert’s history of tax troubles. She says they were caused by a divorce and the recession, and middle-class voters will relate to her life experiences.

The next election for the seat will be held in November of 2016.

*This post has been updated.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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