Sarah Palin not used to sharing attention.
In the nearly 14 years since she broke into the national political scene, the former Alaska governor has appeared in reality shows, written books, spent time as a contributor to Fox News, set up a political committee in her name and is rumored to have become of course. The White House contender. Most recently, she regained her conservative sensation status, following a failed lawsuit against The New York Times.
Now the first vice-presidential candidate from the Republican Party is applying for the role of a member of the US House of Representatives, which can be considered less glamorous.
Palin is among 48 candidates running for the only seat in the Alaska House of Representatives after the death last month of Republican Don Young, who has held the post since 1973. If successful, Palin will become one of 435 members of the House, where ambitions are very deep, but the legislation is tough, in large part because of the populist policies that have taken hold since the 2008 election.
Given this dynamic, it would be easy to reject Palin’s candidacy as the last twist in his unconventional career. Some of her critics have tried to call her an opportunist who seeks to strengthen her brand. The opinion section on the website of Alaska’s largest newspaper is dotted with letters to the editor urging Alaska residents to abstain. They remind readers that she left her last major job in politics as governor of Alaska, and there are about 16 months left until her term.
But in a recent interview with The Associated Press, Palin dismissed such criticism. She insisted that her commitment to Alaska had not wavered, and those who believed otherwise “did not know me.” She said she was seriously looking for a seat in the House of Representatives and did not need a “launch pad for anything else.”
Anyway, she said her unique place in American politics would put her in a stronger position in Washington. Unlike other freshmen lawmakers, she said, she could “pick up the phone and call any reporter and take part in any show if I wanted to, and it would all be about Alaska.”
“I love working, and everyone around me knows,” she said. “I’m applying for a job for Alaskans, saying, ‘Hey, you guys would be my boss.’ Do you want to hire me? Because if you do that, I will do a good job for you, and I will not back down. ”
There is only one former governor who is currently a member of the House of Representatives – a Democrat Charlie Christ Florida. Palin faces several obstacles to get there.
One of them is focusing on the forthcoming elections. The special primaries on June 11 will be the state’s first postal election. The four candidates who get the most votes will go to the polls on August 16, which will use the rating vote. The winner will serve until the end of Young’s term, which ends in January. There will also be a primary election in August and a general election in November to determine who will serve a two-year term beginning in January.
Some voters are questioning her decision to step down as governor, a move she attributes to pressure on requests for records and ethical complaints, which she said were frivolous. She spent time outside the state but has a home in Basil, her hometown, where she began to engage in politics.
“Well, I’m sorry if this story is there because it’s inaccurate,” she said of leaving Alaska. She said Alaska is her home and that on a sunny last day she “robbed moose poop” in her father’s yard before calling a reporter.
According to the Electoral Department, she regularly voted in state elections after resigning.
“I still prefer Carhartts and boots with a steel toe and just hard work,” Palin said, referring to a popular outerwear brand. “I just got the opportunity and the platform to go out there, tell and show other people the beauty of being an Alaskan.”
She mentions the hunting lifestyle of Alaskans and the importance of responsible development of the state’s oil and gas resources. She said she plans to attend events, including the Republican Party convention this week.
Republican-leaning Alaska competition will do little to change the balance of power in Washington. But the election is being closely watched as a barometer of former President Donald Trump’s ties to the Republican’s most loyal voters.
Banners of Trump 2020 or Trump 2024 are flying from several houses in Vasily, several political signs that have been seen in this year’s elections. Palin said that if Trump runs for president in 2024 and asks her to be his partner, she will consider it, although she said he can choose anyone and they have not had such an honest conversation.
Palin said Trump was among those who contacted her after Young’s death and asked if she would be willing to run. She said it was a good time in her life to achieve a return to office, politically and personally. Her family life has changed, she noted, with four older children. Her youngest, Trig, is in high school. Palin divorced Todd Palin, her husband of over 30, in 2020.
She said she felt she had “nothing to lose” in the run. After her political and personal life has been covered in the media for so long, “what else can they say?” She said, then added, “It’s freedom for me.”
Palin has perhaps the highest status among the list of candidates, which includes current and former state deputies, a member of the North Pole City Council whose legal name is Santa Claus, and Republican Nick Begic, who ran last fall and worked for months. . to get conservative support.
Begic said he considers the Matanus-Susitna region, a conservative hotbed that includes Basil, one of his strongest districts, and said he did not know any of his supporters have run away since Palin joined the race.
“Everyone who has come to support me is still fully supportive, and this is a strong statement because a lot has changed,” he said.
Tim Bernie, who lives with Basil, said he supports Palin. He said she resigned “for the good of the state” after her detractors “found her with a burning weapon.”
“She just lives here on the road, and you know, she grew up here,” he said, lighting a cigarette near the Mug-Shot Saloon after dinner on the last day.
“Her heart is here in Alaska, and I think she’s good for Alaska,” he said.
Borer reported from Juneau, Alaska.