Little House on the Prairie Star Melissa Gilbert Running for Congress

Little House on the Prairie Star Running for Congress
Melissa Gilbert

08/10/2015 AT 08:00 PM EDT

Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie, is running for Congress in Michigan, USA Today reports.

"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 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."

While Gilbert has no background in politics, she was president of the Screen Actors Guild for four years. She will run against Republican Rep. Mike Bishop for a spot in Michigan's 8th district.

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According to USA Today, Gilbert, 51, has a challenging road ahead of her as she's a Democrat and the district is strongly Republican.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Gilbert allegedly owes $360,00 in back taxes to the IRS – a point that state Republicans quickly called out.

Despite challenges, Gilbert's campaign hopes to "build a new economy for Michigan."
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