For more information about Melissa Gilbert, please check out this link: https://ocdp.org/news/15/08/17/melissa-gilbert-running-congress-8th-district
Crains Business Detroit August 14, 2015 http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150814/BLOG020/150819912/melissa-gilberts-hollywood-ties-could-help-campaign-for-congress
LANSING — Having ties to Hollywood could be a good thing for actress Melissa Gilbert, who plans to run for Congress in Michigan and will need a sizable war chest, political observers say.
One caveat: Her ability to leverage her name recognition while fundraising her campaign won’t easily offset the fact that she owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid federal taxes, which continues to grab headlines.
That could make it hard for Gilbert, a newcomer both to politics and to Michigan, to unseat an incumbent congressman in a Republican-leaning district.
Gilbert, an author and actress who starred as Laura Ingalls in the 1970s TV show “Little House on the Prairie,” said she will run in 2016 as a Democrat in the 8th District, which spans Ingham and Livingston counties and northern Oakland County.
National analysts, from Charlie Cook’s The Cook Political Report to Washington-based political news source Roll Call, have pegged the 8th District as “likely” or “safe” Republican in 2016. Even so, the National Republican Congressional Committee has listed Bishop on its “Patriot Program” to help raise money for what it considers possibly vulnerable incumbents.
State party officials say they expect Bishop to return to Congress.
Bucholz said Bishop could benefit in a presidential-year election if voters perceive “party fatigue” and decide to elect a Republican to the White House.
But Ballenger said Democrats in general tend to do better in elections with a presidential race because turnout increases. This could be true if Democrats have a popular candidate, namely if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wins the party’s nomination.