The actress will run as a Democrat and go against freshmen Republican Rep. Mike Bishop for Michigan's 8th Congressional district.
"Here in Michigan, I know people are doing their best to make a good life for themselves and their families," reads the statement on Gilbert's official campaign website. "When it comes down to it, I think that's what we all really want.
"I'm running for Congress to make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today's economy," the statement continues. "I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done."
Bishop's campaign spokesman Stu Sandler didn't waste any time shading his client's new opponent, pointing out to CNN that she owes more than $300,000 in back taxes to the IRS.
"Melissa Gilbert can afford to have a stylist and a Louis Vuitton collar for her dog, but cannot pay her taxes. Her Hollywood values are out of whack with the district," Sandler said in a statement.