On ABC News’ ‘20/20: A Capitol Offense,’ the viewers learn about the fallout from an extramarital affair between two former Republican lawmakers, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. In August 2015, a bizarre story about Todd planning to spread false rumors about himself to take attention away from a potential leak about the affair became public knowledge. As a result, he and Cindy faced significant backlash from voters and colleagues. So, if you’re wondering where the latter might be today, here’s what we know.
Who is Cindy Gamrat?
Cindy Gamrat was originally from Indiana, where she started her political career. She founded a Tea Party group before moving with her family to Plainwell, Michigan, after her husband, Joe, took a new job there. Soon, Cindy became a significant player in the Tea Party movement and won the 2014 GOP primary for the 80th District House seat. She was known for organizing a statewide Tea Party convention with some others.
Cindy and Todd represented the same values politically and were seen as conservative lawmakers against abortion and backed traditional marriage. In 2013, she ran as Vice Chairwoman during Todd’s run for the Michigan Republican Party chairman; however, he lost. In the months before the incident, there had been rumors about an affair between the two. It was reported that the two combined offices and shared resources in addition to having their aides effectively working for both of them.
In May 2015, Ben Graham, Todd’s then-aide, recorded a conversation with him. At the time, the latter wanted him to send out an email that mentioned the legislator being caught outside a nightclub in Lansing, Michigan, with a man and that he was a drug user. Todd and Cindy had received threatening messages about going public with their affair. Hence, he felt that an over-the-top story could take attention away from the affair’s news leaking and make it look like a smear campaign.
Since Ben didn’t want to participate, Todd used a fake email to send the information out. It accused Cindy of covering up for him and called her “a tramp, a lie and a laugh.” Ben went public with the recordings sometime after he was fired from his job. At the time, Cindy had also fired her aide, Keith Allard. Then, another recording made by Ben on May 21 included both legislators talking to him.
Todd and Cindy didn’t deny the affair but apologized to Ben. At one point, she asked him not to talk about “a mistake that we made.” Cindy added, “I would ask you just to keep this private. This is not just about protecting me; it’s also about protecting Joe and the kids.” In the first recording, Todd claimed she was okay with the email going out, and he said, “This is the best we came up with. Neither one of us want to be on someone’s leash. Neither of us wants to be in Lansing if this is the way we have to do it.”
Cindy initially claimed that she didn’t know about or help with sending the email. Although, in later sworn testimony, she stated otherwise. Cindy said she talked with Todd about the email idea before it was sent and knew of the plan, adding, “I can’t go back and change the past. The only thing I could do was try to go forward and do it better.”
Where is Cindy Gamrat Today?
In September 2015, Cindy was expelled from the House of Representatives in a 91-12 vote. An ensuing internal investigation accused Cindy and Todd of misconduct; the report indicated that they asked their staff to facilitate their affair and blurred lines between political and official work. In February 2016, Cindy and Todd were charged with misconduct in office, but charges against the former were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
While Cindy sought a Republican nomination after her expulsion, she finished third in the voting race in November 2015, ending with 9% of the votes. Later, a police investigation revealed that her then-husband, Joe, was behind the anonymous texts; he gave a co-worker money to buy a burner phone and then told him what to text. The legislator filed for divorce from Joe in August 2016 and now goes by her birth name, Cindy Bauer.
Cindy has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and worked as a nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mother to homeschool her three children: Paige, Joey, and Meghan. After being expelled, she worked as a radio host for a few months before returning to nursing. Besides, Cindy has been priorly employed as an RN Care Manager, Transition of Care Coach, Clinical Study Enrollment Assistant, and Medical Liaison Advisor. Currently, she lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is the founder and CEO of Coordinista, a field care optimization company in the hospital and healthcare industry.
Read More: Where Are Keith Allard and Ben Graham Now?