The former Little House on the Prairie child star, a fervent Democrat, announced her run last summer (15), hoping to win a seat against Republican Mike Bishop for Michigan's eighth congressional district.

Gilbert, who has lived in Howell, Michigan with her actor husband Timothy Busfield since 2013, decided to pull out of the race citing worsening injuries she previously suffered to her head and neck in a 2012 accident, making her unable to properly serve as a politician for her state.

In a statement to the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday (24May16), she said, "While I have received the best treatment and therapy I could have asked for, those injuries have only gotten worse. As much as it breaks my heart to say this, my doctors have told me I am physically unable to continue my run for Congress."

While the Congressional bid was Gilbert's first for public office, the actress already had past election success - she was voted in as president of the Screen Actors Guild in 2001 and served until 2005.