UPDATE: The face behind one of fiction’s most “Libertarian” characters is running for elected office as a (gasp) Democrat.

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Gilbert Ingalls Lane

In an earlier Answer’s Journal post, we shared how the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, was a staunch conservative, couldn’t stand her distant cousin Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and is credited with coining the word Libertarian. http://answersjournal.com/what-u-s-president-was-related-to-laura-ingalls-wilder-and-her-daughter-couldnt-stand-the-man/

In an interesting stroke of irony, the actress generally associated with her mother’s legacy is now running for elected office as a candidate for the Democratic Party.  From 1974 to 1984, Melissa Gilbert starred as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the NBC series Little House on the Prairie. On August 10, 2015, Gilbert announced her intent to run for Michigan’s 8th congressional district in the 2016 elections to the United States House of Representatives. She will be opposing Republican incumbent Mike Bishop. Gilbert now lives in Michigan with her husband, fellow actor Timothy Busfield.

Her campaign website, Gilbert for Michigan, says that Gilbert is been particularly attuned to issues confronting women, children and families. No stranger to holding elected office, Gilbert served as the president of the Screen Actor’s Guild from 2001 to 2005. Controversy arose for her in June 2015 when the IRS revealed Gilbert owes over $360,000 in taxes. The actress later announced in August a settlement with the government to resolve the debt by 2024.

Gilbert also faces an uphill battle in her district. Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, which covers sections of Oakland, Livingston and Ingram counties, is known generally as one of the most conservative districts in the delegation. Bishop won his last election with 54% of the vote in 2014.

FEARLESS PREDICTION: Expect to see great celebrity star power, money and attention in the national media to this congressional race. As for the ultimate winner, right now it’s too early to tell.

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