‘Little House on the Prairie’ star wanted to run for Congress–but was shot down for unlikely reason

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“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert’s bid for Congress proved to be short lived as the actress announced late Tuesday that she is dropping out of a congressional race in Michigan.

A Democrat, Gilbert launched her candidacy in August and was running in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.

Citing advice from her doctors who said she was physically unfit to continue, Gilbert said the decision “breaks my heart.”

The actress pointed to injuries to her head and neck sustained in accidents in 2012, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“While I have received the best treatment and therapy I could have asked for, those injuries have only gotten worse,” she said in a statement. “As much as it breaks my heart to say this, my doctors have told me I am physically unable to continue my run for Congress.”

More on her injuries from People Magazine:

Gilbert says she is facing two herniated discs in her spine as the result of two head and neck injuries she sustained in 2012. First, she suffered whiplash and a concussion after a fall on “Dancing with the Stars” in April and months later the balcony of a house she was renting in Studio City, California collapsed over her head.


Gilbert was running against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, who was favored to retain his seat.

Naturally, the National Republican Campaign Committee seized on the opportunity to kick sand in the face of the opposition, saying Gilbert’s decision was “another high profile embarrassment” for her party, the Free Press reported.

But Michigan Democratic Party chairman Brandon Dillon does not plan to go down without a fight.

“Make no mistake, this district is still a top target for us,” he said.

“Her announcement means that the county Democratic parties (in the district) will fill the vacancy,” Dillon added.

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