Sarah Palin announces bid for US Congress in Alaska race

'America is at a tipping point,' she wrote in her announcement

Republican Sarah Palin is trying to make a return to US national politics. AFP

Former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced she is running for Alaska's lone seat in the US House of Representatives and a return to national politics during a period of deep political division.

“I realise that I have very big shoes to fill,” Ms Palin said in a statement posted to her Twitter account on Friday night.

“America is at a tipping point,” she said. “As I’ve watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step up and join the fight.”

Ms Palin’s entry into the race to replace representative Doug Young, who died unexpectedly last month after serving for 49 years, marks a return to the political fray.

She was elected governor of Alaska in 2006 after serving as mayor of her home town, Wasila. Yet she remained largely unknown outside her state until John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, asked her to be his running mate.

His surprise selection electrified conservatives and made her a political celebrity, but they lost to the Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden that November.

Ms Palin resigned as governor in 2009 and in the years since has pursued careers as a commentator and author and in reality television. She has campaigned for Republican causes and candidates, including former president Donald Trump.

In February, she lost a defamation suit against The New York Times. She said she would appeal.

Although Republicans have long had the upper hand in state politics, Ms Palin has competition.

Other candidates include Nick Begich III, a grandson of former representative Nick Begich Sr and nephew of former senator Mark Begich. Al Gross, who ran against Republican Senator Dan Sullivan in 2020, has also announced his candidacy.

The election will be the first under Alaska’s new system, in which candidates run in a non-partisan primary. The top four finishers in that race then face off in the general election, which will use ranked-choice voting.

Updated: April 03, 2022, 3:11 AM
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