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Melissa Gilbert

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou talk about political pushback on Melissa Gilbert's request to get her name off the November ballot and whether enough justice is being done in a $2.7 million school supplies kickback scheme in Detroit.

Lessenberry and Tribou also discuss the latest news from Flint, including the lead crisis and a hometown hero who brought home her gold medal.  


Actor Melissa Gilbert has won a prize she no longer wants. Gilbert was the only candidate in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District primary. Now she’s going work to get her name off the November ballot.

Gilbert says she’s not healthy enough to campaign and to serve, if elected. But her campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Mike Bishop has also struggled.

The child star of "Little House on the Prairie” avoided media interviews and community events, and ran into criticism over comments she made on national TV shows as well as tax troubles. 

Left: SUZANNA SHKRELI FOR CONGRESS/FACEBOOK Right: mikebishop.house.gov / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democrats in Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District have no way of knowing yet who they’ll be casting a ballot for in November. The district includes northern Oakland County, Livingston County, and Ingham County.

Suzanna Shkreli, the Democratic Party's candidate for Michigan's 8th Congressional District.
Suzanna Shkreli / Facebook

The Democratic challenger in Michigan's 8th Congressional District may not be Melissa Gilbert, of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, but instead a 29-year-old assistant prosecutor from Clarkston. 

Suzanna Shkreli, who received her law degree from Western Michigan University and works in the child protection unit of the Macomb County Prosecutor's office, will take Gilbert's place and become the candidate to challenge Rep. Mike Bishop, a first-term Republican.

For most people, May is one of the best months. The flowers are blooming; it’s pretty clear that it isn’t going to snow any more, and summer is coming. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Michigan Democrats start regarding May with a shudder. For two years in a row, the party has been embarrassed in May by one of their own. Last year it was State Senator Virgil Smith Jr., one of the legislature’s dimmer bulbs.

The photo Melissa Gilbert used in her announcement to run for Congress
Melissa Gilbert for Congress

Melissa Gilbert has ended her campaign as the democratic Congressional candidate in Michigan's 8th district. The actress, best known for her role as Laura Ingalls in the television series Little House on the Prairie, said in a statement emailed from her campaign that health concerns make it impossible to run.

I assume there are probably some real issues facing the voters in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, which is anchored by Lansing in the bottom middle of the state.

After all, a lot of folks here used to work for Oldsmobile, which was, you may remember, a mighty division of General Motors before going extinct a dozen years ago.

Only about 10% of the population is black or Latino, which puts Democrats at a disadvantage, but there are a lot of government workers and suburbanites trying to put their kids through school.


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.

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.

Melissa's Mid-life Musings

It's time to jump in the way-back machine:

Reports and tweets indicate that Laura Ingalls Wilder Melissa Gilbert has moved from Hollywood Hills to Howell, Michigan.