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One of the more awkward days in Michigan State House history as Courser and Gamrat return

Aug 18, 2015

Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, returned to the state capitol today.
Credit images from Courser/Gamrat offices

Representatives Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, were due to return to the Capitol today for the first time since their affair was exposed – along with Courser's attempt to cover it up by conjuring up a phony gay sex scandal.

And it comes a day after one of their former aides, Joshua Cline, told his side of the story to reporters.

Chad Livengood is the Detroit News Lansing reporter who first broke the Courser-Gamrat story.

Livengood told us that both Courser and Gamrat showed up in the House today, though they took different routes.

“Rep. Gamrat was briefly on the floor. She actually had a little talk on the floor with House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, in which she asked him for permission to go to the Democratic Caucus and publicly apologize to the Democrats of the House of Representatives,” said Livengood.

Meanwhile Rep. Courser went to the public gallery of the House of Representatives and sat with his parents. He avoided the floor and he largely avoided reporters. 

Courser did ask at the beginning of the session for the attorney general’s office to investigate the purchase of the Senate Office Building.

“We’re not really sure what that’s all about, but he’s asking the attorney general to investigate that $130 million deal,” said Livengood.

Courser eventually took his seat on the floor in the afternoon, Livengood later reported.

Livengood said other members in the House were trying to avoid Courser and Gamrat.

“Beforehand, Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Pottervile, said ‘boy, this is going to be strange.’”

Gamrat sits right behind Barrett on the House floor.

“There’s certainly a very noticeable feeling of awkwardness that this scandal involving their relationship has poured out on the front pages and garnered worldwide attention,” said Livengood.

Meanwhile lawmakers are trying to put together a $1.2 billion roads package. Livengood says they might vote soon, but lawmakers said the sex scandal has created a distraction for the task at hand.