'Little House' star running for Congress
© Getty Images

Actress Melissa Gilbert, who famously portrayed Laura Ingalls Wilder in NBC's hit 1970s television series “Little House on the Prairie,” announced her candidacy on Monday for the congressional seat representing Michigan’s 8th district.

“I’m running for Congress to make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today’s economy,” Gilbert said in a statement published on her website. “I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done.”

Gilbert, 51, will run as a Democrat in a district that has been held by Republicans since 2001. She will run against first-term Rep. Mike Bishop (R), who defeated Democratic candidate Eric Schertzing last year, 54-42 percent, in an election to replace long-time Rep. Mike Rogers (R).

The 8th district, which is northwest of Detroit, is made up of Livingston and Ingham counties, as well as sections of Oakland county and includes East Lansing and a portion of Lansing.