Ousted Michigan lawmakers plan reelection campaigns – for the same seats

Former representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat were forced out of office for an extramarital affair and subsequent cover up.

Dale G. Young/Detroit News/AP
Michigan state Rep. Cindy Gamrat (l.) and Rep. Todd Courser, seen in this composite photo, were forced out of office for their extramarital affair and the subsequent coverup. Both have announced that they will run for reelection.

Two former Michigan state representatives have announced plans to run for reelection – for the seats they were forced to leave a week earlier.

Republicans Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat were forced out the state House of Representatives after an extramarital affair scandal and cover-up was exposed (Mr. Courser resigned and Ms. Gamrat was voted out an hour later). Undeterred the two have announced their plans to both run for reelection for the same seats.

Courser told the local news radio station WWJ-AM on Friday that he would be running again. His Facebook post announcement says he even has his wife’s support.

"She said, 'Yes, you absolutely should run. The voters didn't have a chance to decide. The decision was taken from them. The people never had an opportunity to hear about all the good representation you have given them in both your Conservative voting record and your Conservative legislation,' " he wrote on his page.

Gamrat, a fellow tea party Republican, was expelled from the House by her fellow lawmakers. She is also running for her former seat.

"The whole time, what has weighed very heavy on me is my voters didn't have a voice in the matter. I've been fighting for the voice of my voters for the last eight months in Lansing, so I decided to continue to fight so they have a voice in the matter," Gamrat told MLive.com.

The original scandal for the social conservative colleagues first arose when news of their extramarital affair broke. It worsened after it was also revealed that Courser sent a hoax email to GOP activists and others in May attempting to make the affair less believable.

Gamrat stated that she did not know the email’s content. “I just want to go home and be with my family, “ she said at her lawyer’s office, according to the Associated Press.

Lawmakers have asked police and the attorney general to investigate the cover-up further.

In response to Gamrat’s reelection announcement, the Grand Rapids Press and Kalamazoo Gazette, two papers that cover her district, published a joint editorial. The entire opinion reads as follows: “No.”

This report contains material from Reuters and the Associated Press.

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