Michigan state lawmaker who resigned over affair cover-up to run again

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 18, 2015 12:55 PM

(Reuters) - A former Michigan state representative who resigned days ago after he and a fellow lawmaker were found to have covered up their extramarital affair said on Friday that he will run for his old seat.

Todd Courser told CNN that he plans to file on Friday afternoon to run for the 82nd district seat, after getting the go-ahead from his wife and children.

"My wife said 'yes run!'" Courser said on Twitter.

Reuters could not immediately reach Courser for comment.

Courser had an affair with Cindy Gamrat, who said on Thursday she has filed to run in a November primary election to fill her own vacant seat.

The state House of Representatives voted to have Gamrat removed from office last Friday, as police began a criminal investigation into the use of tax funds to cover up the affair she had with Courser.

Courser resigned the same day following a legislative session centered on his possible expulsion, while Gamrat was removed by a vote of the full House an hour later. Gamrat and Courser, who are both married, had asked to be censured, which would have allowed them to remain in office.

Both are Republicans and members of the Tea Party movement.

"I've taken ownership obviously for the underlying allegations in regards to my failings. Nobody has failed really politically as large as I have. And yet, I do think that voters do need to take that into consideration and look at the record that I have," Courser told CNN.

The primary election will be on Nov. 3 and a general election to fill both seats is scheduled for March 8.

Courser and Gamrat had apologized last week during a special House committee hearing into their use of staff members to try to cover up their affair.

"It was a really, really dark moment in my life and in that moment, made a really, really poor choice. I think that the voters need to weigh in on whether or not that is something that's egregious and they don't want me to serve as their state representative," Courser said.

Courser said he and his wife are in counseling.

"It's been a horrendous experience for my family, my children, my wife," Courser said. "It's all on me. It's my responsibility."

(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Serena Maria Daniels in Detroit; Editing by Eric Walsh)