Sarah Palin seeks return to national politics, launches bid for House seat

Sarah Palin on Feb. 15, 2022, as she left court following the dismissal of her defamation case against the New York Times.

John Lamparski | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

In her first campaign for public office since 2008, former Alaska governor and onetime Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin announced Friday she was running for Congress.

Palin, who was catapulted onto the national stage as Sen. John McCain’s running mate 14 years ago, jumped into a race to fill the seat held by GOP Rep. Don Young for almost 50 years before he died last month.

“Public service is calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep, Young did for 49 years,” Palin wrote in a statement. “America is at a tipping point. As I watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step up and join the fight.”

In her announcement, Palin blasted “out-of-control inflation, empty shelves, and gas prices,” and vowed to “combat the left’s socialist, big-government, America-last agenda.”

“I’m in this race to win it and join the fight for freedom alongside other patriots willing to sacrifice all to save our country,” she wrote.

It is not clear if Palin has filed to run for a full term. She only said that she threw her hat in the ring for the special election prompted by Young’s death. More than 40 candidates have already filed for the open special election.

Palin’s path to Congress will be complicated. The special primary is scheduled for June 11 – but it’s open to any party affiliation. The top four vote-getters will advance to the special general election on Aug. 16. The special general election winner will be determined by ranked-choice voting.

The winner will only serve for a few months, the remaining portion of Young’s term.

Palin, who helped usher in a new brand of GOP politics more than a decade ago, has previously flirted with a return to Washington.

In 2016, NBC News reported that she had expressed interest and been in touch with Trump transition officials about a potential role with the administration.

More recently, she was in the news for her defamation lawsuit against The New York Times. She has lost two court battles so far.

While in New York for the court proceedings, Palin came under fire for returning to a city restaurant two days after she tested positive for Covid-19. She was seen dining indoors even though she was not vaccinated against the virus.

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