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Michigan GOP: Melissa Gilbert Too Healthy To Quit Race

Melissa Gilbert, former star of "Little House on the Prairie," pulled out as the Democratic nominee in Michigan’s eighth Congressional District race on May 24 because of medical issues with back, which she underwent surgery for in early August.

Now, the state's Republican Party is challenging Gilbert's assertions about her own health.

Gilbert told People in May that she had two herniated discs stemming from two 2012 injuries. The first injury was whiplash and a concussion on "Dancing with the Stars," and the second happened when a balcony collapsed over her head.

Gilbert said she also had a "long history" of issues with her spinal and neck areas, including surgery in 2003 for another herniated disc.

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office approved her withdrawal, but lawyers for the state Republican Party challenged Gilbert's dropping out in an Aug. 22 letter to Michigan's elections director, Chris Thomas, and the state Board of Canvassers, notes the Detroit Free Press.

The GOP lawyers, Jason Hanselman and Gary Gordon, said the board, and not Gilbert or Thomas, should be allowed to decide if Gilbert can drop out due to her health.

Hanselman and Gordon added that Gilbert had not "adequately proved that she would be physically unfit to serve in Congress."

Thomas wrote a letter to state Democratic Party chairman Brandon Dillon on Aug. 2 that said: "Under Michigan’s election law, a congressional candidate may withdraw after having won the party’s nomination by notifying the party that he or she has become physically unfit."

Thomas also approved Gilbert's replacement, assistant Macomb County prosecutor Suzanna Shkreli, per the future certification of primary results from Aug. 2.

On the other side of the health coin, Rudy Giuliani, a surrogate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, told Fox News on Aug. 21 that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has several signs of illness that the media is refusing to report, notes Politico.

Giuliani did not cite any medical evidence to back up his claim, but said: "Go online and put down 'Hillary Clinton illness,' take a look at the videos yourself."

The Trump campaign, conspiracy theorists, Fox News hosts, conservatives and Trump supporter Pat Robertson have been repeating already-debunked theories that Clinton is suffering from some type of physical malady; numerous heavily-edited videos have appeared online in an effort to paint Clinton as being too ill to serve as president.

Sources: Detroit Free Press, Politico, People / Photo Credit: The Official Melissa Gilbert Website

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