Actress Melissa Gilbert drops run for Congress in Michigan

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Former "Little House on the Prairie" star Melissa Gilbert is dropping her run for Congress in Michigan.

Gilbert was the only Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop in the 8th District. But in a statement Tuesday, she says health problems are forcing her out of the race.

The 52-year-old Gilbert says she's following the advice of doctors. She says head and neck injuries from two accidents in 2012 "have only gotten worse."

In a statement, Bishop says, "I wish her the best."

The filing deadline has expired. But the Michigan Democratic Party says county parties in the 8th District can put another candidate on the ballot.

Gilbert was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001-2005 after playing Laura Ingalls on "Little House" in the 1970s and 1980s.