‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actor Running for Congress

The actor who portrayed Laura Ingalls Wilder could be Michigan’s next Congressperson.

By Rick Pluta

Melissa Gilbert, 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.

“I’m running for Congress to make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today’s economy,” she says in a statement. “I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done.”

She did not grant interviews or make any public appearances.

Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District seat is currently held by freshman Republican Mike Bishop, and tilts slightly Republican. 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 campaigned for 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.