Michigan House panel considers ban on mobile phone use while driving

Ex-Rep. Courser: Wife endorses state House candidacy

The Detroit News

Former state Rep. Todd Courser kept it all in the family Tuesday as he said his wife, Namfon, endorsed his bid to win back the 82nd House District seat from which he resigned on Sept. 11.

The Lapeer-area Republican said on social media that his wife endorsed him on her Facebook wall and reprinted on his Facebook page the note he said Namfon Courser wrote.

Courser resigned his seat last month as his colleagues prepared to vote on his ouster because he engaged in “deceptive, deceitful and outright dishonest conduct” while in office in an effort to cover up an extramarital affair with then-Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell.

Courser filed to run for the seat from which he resigned only after he said his wife blessed his run for office. He is running against 10 other Republicans in the special primary scheduled for next Tuesday.

The note the maverick Republican posted on Facebook said, among other things:

■“I love my husband. I forgave my husband. Through all this we have been getting help to heal our marriage. I have been telling people that if they are waiting for someone who is without sin to serve in an official capacity, then they will be waiting until Jesus comes back.”

■“I will be voting for Todd on Election Day, not because he is my husband, but because I believe he is the only candidate who will follow through and try to make Conservative changes in Lansing.”

Among candidates opposing Courser include nurse Jan Peabody, who lost the August 2014 GOP primary to Courser 37 percent-33 percent or by 351 votes.

Peabody is endorsed by the Great Lakes Education Project, a conservative group that backs school choice. The group criticizes Courser for repeatedly being late on paying his property taxes and defaulting on a loan to his accounting and law firm.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Gary Howell, who chairs Lapeer County’s road commission and intermediate school district board.

Courser was caught on tape instructing a House aide to send constituents an outlandish anonymous email claiming he had paid a male prostitute for sex — a scheme designed to minimize damage if his relationship with Gamrat became widely known.