'Little House on the Prairie' star ends bid for Congress

"Little House on the Prairie" star Melissa Gilbert ended her campaign for Congress in Michigan's 8th District on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Actress Melissa Gilbert ended her campaign for Congress in Michigan
  • She planned to challenge Republican Rep. Mike Bishop in the state's 8th District

Washington (CNN)Melissa Gilbert, who starred in the "Little House on the Prairie" television show, is ending her campaign for Congress.

Set to challenge Republican Rep. Mike Bishop for in the 8th District, a seat Michigan Democrats hoped to target, the 52-year-old actress cited advice from her doctors stemming from head and neck injuries she suffered in 2012.
    "While I have received the best treatment and therapy I could have asked for, those injuries have only gotten worse," Gilbert said in a statement, according to The Detroit Free Press. "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."
    Gilbert rose to fame playing Laura Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie" from 1974 to 1984. She served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005.
    Her campaign was beset by problems after she entered the race in August 2015. Among them: $472,000 in federal and state tax liens, which she announced agreements to pay off by 2024.
    The National Republican Congressional Committee mocked her exit from the race, sending reporters a photo of a dumpster fire and calling it "just the latest example of the mass incompetence emanating from (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) headquarters."
    Without Gilbert, Bishop's chances at re-election in a district that Mitt Romney narrowly won in 2012 look even more assured.
    Gilbert will remain on the primary ballot in August, but plans to withdraw her candidacy officially afterward, allowing Michigan Democrats to select a replacement in time for November's general election.