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Melissa Gilbert wants to go to Congress

Aug 11, 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert is running for Congress in Michigan's 8th District

The actress best known for playing Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie” in the 1970s and early 80s moved to Michigan two years ago with her actor husband Timothy Busfield.

On Monday, she announced a run for Congress in Michigan’s 8th District. It covers cities like East Lansing, Howell, Fenton, Clarkston, Lake Orion and Rochester.

Gilbert has been president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, but according to Detroit Free Press Capitol Hill reporter Todd Spangler, she doesn’t have any political experience.

Spangler tells us the 8th District’s general history of leaning to the right is going to ensure Gilbert is “going to have an uphill battle winning in that district.”

Gilbert also brings some personal financial baggage to the table, to the tune of a $360,000 tax lien filed by the IRS earlier this year, according to Spangler.

“She’s going to have to explain it to voters, so they understand what did happen” Spangler says. “I guess she and her advisors think it’s something they can get around.”

He tells us Gilbert’s name recognition could go a long way to bring attention and money in for her campaign, but whether it will be enough to defeat incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, remains to be seen.