Little House Star 'Devastated' to Drop Bid for Congress
Upcoming surgery won't allow Melissa Gilbert to meet 'rigorous demands' of Mich. campaign
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2016 9:01 AM CDT
In this June 9, 2009, file photo, actress Melissa Gilbert appears at Borders to promote her autobiography "Prairie Tale" in New York.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

(Newser) – A star from Little House on the Prairie won't be moving to a bigger House after all—at least not this time around. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Little House TV series, is "devastated" to have to drop out of her bid for Congress via Michigan's 8th District due to upcoming spinal surgery, People reports. "My doctors said there's no way for me to continue to deal with the incredibly rigorous demands of a congressional campaign without continuing to do harm to my body," the 52-year-old actress tells the magazine.

Gilbert, who WDIV notes was set to run against incumbent Republican Mike Bishop, is suffering from two herniated discs and other head and neck injuries after a fall on Dancing With the Stars and a balcony that collapsed on her head, both in 2012. "It's indescribable to have to make this decision because I had my sights set on my opponent and a lot of people around me felt that I could win," says Gilbert, who had hoped to become the district's first Democratic rep since the 1990s. She doesn't rule out jumping back into the political fray in the future. (Gilbert has been outspoken about the breast implants she ditched.)