Sarah Palin announces comeback run for Congress in Alaska

Former VP candidate has been out of politics for over a decade

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Saturday 02 April 2022 05:49
Sarah Palin says she would replace late representative Don Young ‘in a heartbeat’

Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate and governor of Alaska, has announced her return to politics, aiming to run for Congress in her home state in a special election to replace the late Republican Don Young.

“Public service is a calling, and I would be honoured to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep Young did for 49 years,” Ms Palin wrote in a statement on Friday.

The Alaska politician, who rose to national fame and occasionally mockery as part of John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, said she was seeking a return to Washington to “combat the left’s socialist, big-government, America-last agenda.”

“America is at a tipping point,” she continued. “As I’ve watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step up and join the fight. The people of the great State of Alaska, like others all over the country, are struggling with out-of-control inflation, empty shelves, and gas prices that are among the highest in the world.”

Representative Young, the longest-serving member of Congress, died in March at age 88 after losing consciousness on a flight between Los Angeles and Seattle.

The primary for Young’s seat is scheduled for 11 June, with a general election on 16 August.

The contest will be the first that implements the state’s new election scheme, which features an open, non-partisan primary, with the top four winners competing in a ranked-choice general election.

Ms Palin has aligned herself with Donald Trump, telling Fox News’s Sean Hannity in March, “We need people like Donald Trump, who has nothing to lose. Like me! We got nothing to lose, and no more of this vanilla milquetoast namby-pamby wussy-pussy stuff that’s been going on. That’s why our country is in the mess that we’re in, because people who run for office, they look at it as a job, as a business, instead of as a calling.”

The former Alaska governor had also endorsed Mr Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Some have argued that Ms Palin’s outrageous style was a precursor to the former president’s own made-for-TV political ambitions.

“Would there be a Donald Trump without Sarah Palin? It’s hard to imagine Trump coming out of nowhere. Sarah Palin paved the way for Donald Trump,” Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, told The Guardian in February.

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