Actress Melissa Gilbert to run for Congress in Michigan

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ATLANTA, GA - MAY 03: Actress Melissa Gilbert onstage at the Atlanta Ultimate Women's Expo at Georgia World Congress Center on May 3, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich.  — Former “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert is running for Congress in Michigan.

The 51-year-old Democrat announced her candidacy Monday for the 8th District, a three-county seat stretching from the northern Detroit suburbs to Lansing. It’s held by first-term Republican Rep. Mike Bishop of Rochester.

Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the TV show, moved to Livingston County in 2013 with her actor husband Timothy Busfield. She says she’s running to “make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today’s economy.”

Bishop spokesman Stu Sandler pointed to Gilbert’s tax problems. The Detroit News has reported that the IRS filed a lien for more than $360,000 in unpaid income taxes.

Gilbert has said she negotiated a payment plan.

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