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Conservative firebrand Sarah Palin announces bid for US Congress

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Incendiary United States (US) conservative and former vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin announced on Friday she is running for Alaska’s lone seat in the US House of Representatives, eyeing a return to national politics during a period of deep political division.

The 58-year-old far-right former governor is seeking to succeed Republican Don Young who died unexpectedly last month after serving in the US House for 49 years.

Palin is a fierce supporter of Donald Trump, and has joined with the former president in making unfounded claims that the 2020 election was tainted by fraud.

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

The US midterm elections, in which all 435 House seats are up for grabs, is set for November 8.

While the largest US state by area, Alaska has only one representative in the House, due to its sparse population.

Palin was Republican nominee John McCain’s running mate during his 2008 presidential election, in which the duo lost to Barack Obama and his vice presidential pick, then senator Joe Biden.

Palin served as Alaska’s governor from 2006 until 2009, when she resigned and emerged as a darling of the conservative Tea Party movement.

As an anti-establishment flamethrower capable of electrifying the Republican base, she is widely seen as the political precursor to Trump.

In the statement announcing her candidacy, Palin painted a nation in crisis under US President Biden, decrying a surge in illegal immigration, “out-of-control inflation”, high gas prices and “socialist” policies enacted by Democrats.

In February, a Manhattan judge tossed out a defamation case Palin had brought against The New York Times.