Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser were Tea Party darlings from conservative districts when they were elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives in November 2014. When the two Republican freshman reps took office on Jan. 2, 2015, they allied themselves. They combined staffs and worked out of the same office, and were said to go after just about everyone in the House, even those in their own party and the state's Republican governor.
"They did not form relationships with their colleagues except for each other," said Keith Allard, a former Gamrat staffer. "Todd actually kind of declared public warfare on his colleagues, I mean, just putting out missives, trashing them left and right."
By spring 2015, the duo had alienated most of their House colleagues.
At the time Courser and Gamrat took office, Courser had been married to his wife Fon, an immigrant from Thailand, for 18 years and Gamrat married her high school sweetheart, Joe Gamrat. Courser has four children and Gamrat has three.
While in office, the two lawmakers grew close. After late-night sessions at the State House in Lansing, the two would at times spend the night at the Radisson Hotel downtown instead of making the long drive home. The aides said Courser and Gamrat routinely shrugged off questions about how much time they spent together.
"One member of our staff said to them ... 'you need to consider the optics of the situation and how much time you're spending together, the late nights in Lansing'" Allard said. "They laughed it off. They just -- it was a joke to them."
However, it turns out that Courser and Gamrat actually were involved in a love affair, despite their Christian and traditional family values beliefs.
Courser acknowledged to "20/20" that he could be viewed as a hypocrite. "Everybody would hear that I'm a believer in Christ," Courser said. "They wouldn't hear the part that I'm failed and flawed, you know, like everybody else."
The affair continued into May, when Courser said he began receiving a series of anonymous text messages threatening to expose Courser's affair with Gamrat, saying things like, "Cindy sounds like she's great in the sheets," and "Silence in this case can be VERY detrimental ... it could be disastrous, really." Courser said the texter made references to details from Courser's private phone calls and his trips. The texter had even told him his "phone was a burner" so "don't bother trying" to track it.
"They knew my emails out of my outbox, even after I changed my password," Courser said. "They knew texts from my phone."
Then the texter had told Courser he would keep quiet about their affair and "everybody off the hook ... on 1 condition. You resign Todd."