Palin’s website said Friday “Sarah is running for Congress!” and asked for help. She also filed a nomination paper with the FEC to have her name put on the ballot for the Alaska special election primaries scheduled for June 11. The top four candidates will qualify for the August 16 general election.
The move comes after Palin spoke with former President Donald Trump last week, according to two people familiar with the conversation. Trump encouraged the Republican from Alaska 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 has done for 49 years. I realize that I have very big shoes to fill and I plan to honor Rep. Young’s legacy by volunteering on behalf of the service to the state he loved and fought for. ,” Palin said in a statement.
Palin’s bid to re-enter national politics comes more than a decade after she joined the losing 2008 ticket with then-candidate John McCain in his run against Barack Obama. She took a long break from politics but appeared often on Fox News and NewsMax.
Although Palin has often suggested she would run for office again, she’s been more serious about the proposal in recent weeks, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that there’s a “season for everything” and pointing to Trump as his 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 candidate in 2008, Palin has been an inspiration to conservative women. She’s been credited with reigniting the culture wars during the 2008 White House race, focusing on topics including abortion, LGBTQ issues and public school education — many of the same topics that Republicans clung to today.
“America is at a crossroads. As I watched the far left destroy the country, I knew I had to step in and join the fight,” Palin said in Friday’s statement.
Palin recently made headlines for her libel lawsuit against The New York Times. A jury dismissed the suit shortly after the judge said he would dismiss the case, saying her legal team had failed to provide enough evidence to prove she had been defamed by a 2017 op-ed published in the newspaper.
Alex Isenstadt contributed to this report