Former Republican vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday announced she’s running to fill the House seat held by the late Rep. Don Young.
Her announcement came about 45 minutes before the filing deadline to enter into the special election, throwing Palin into a crowded field of nearly 40 candidates to fill the seat held by Young, who died last month. Young was the GOP’s longest-serving congressman in history.
Palin’s website on Friday said “Sarah Is Running For Congress!” and asked for support. She also filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC to get her name on the ballot for Alaska’s special election’s primary scheduled for June 11. The top four candidates will advance to the general election on Aug. 16.
The move comes after Palin spoke with former President Donald Trump last week, according to two people familiar with the conversation. Trump encouraged the Alaska Republican to run for Congress. The Palin campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Public service is a calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young did for 49 years. I realize that I have very big shoes to fill, and I plan to honor Rep. Young’s legacy by offering myself up in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for,” Palin said in a statement.
Palin’s bid to reenter national politics comes more than a decade after she joined the defeated 2008 ticket with then-candidate John McCain in his race against Barack Obama. She’s taken a long break from political life but has frequently appeared on Fox News and NewsMax.
Though Palin’s often suggested she would run for office again, she’s been more serious about the proposition in recent weeks, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that there’s a “season for everything” and pointing to Trump as her inspiration.
“We need people like Donald Trump, who has nothing to lose. Like me,” said Palin, who endorsed Trump in 2016 for president.
As the first Republican woman to be selected as a major party nominee in 2008, Palin was an inspiration to conservative women. She was credited with reigniting the culture wars during the 2008 race for the White House, zeroing in on topics like abortion, LGBTQ issues and education in public schools — many of the same subjects Republicans have latched on to today.
“America is at a tipping point. As I’ve watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step up and join the fight,” Palin said in Friday’s statement.
Palin has been in the headlines recently for her libel suit against the New York Times. A jury rejected the suit not long after the judge said he would dismiss the case, saying her legal team hadn’t provided enough evidence to prove she had been defamed by a 2017 editorial published in the paper.
Alex Isenstadt contributed to this report
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