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Alaska governor becomes McCain’s No. 2
Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Sarah Palin moved to Alaska with her family in 1964 when her parents relocated to teach at a local school. She went on to graduate from the University of Idaho in 1987, where she received a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism.
A mother of five, Palin’s 18-year-old son enlisted in the military last year and will be assigned to fight in Iraq this September.
Her husband, Todd Palin, is part Yup’ik Eskimo and is a North Slope oil worker who competes in the Iron Dog, a 1,900-mile snowmobile race. The couple lives in Wasilla, Alaska.
Gov. Palin has made a name for herself in the Republican Party during her tenure in Alaska state politics as a staunch advocate of bureaucratic reform and critic of wasteful spending. She made history in 2006 as the first female governor of the state, beating out incumbent Frank Murkowski.
Palin’s platform was ethics reform, and after a successful run she managed to pass legislation overhauling the states ethics laws.
Another piece of key legislation was the establishment of a competitive process to construct a gas and pipeline in the state. A staple resource of Alaska, gas and oil policy issues have been a top priority for Palin.
The 44-year-old governor is the chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources.
A strong social conservative, Palin is also known for her anti-abortion stance and opposition to same-sex marriage.
Before her governorship, she served two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. She began her foray into politics when she served two terms on the Wasilla City Council.
In July, the state legislature began investigating Palin for allegedly ordering the dismissal of Alaska’s public safety commissioner because he would not fire her former brother-in-law as a state trooper.
She also began distancing herself from two senior Republican office-holders in Alaska, Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young. Both men are under federal corruption investigations.
Palin is only the second women to serve as the running mate for a major political party. The first was Geraldine Ferraro, who was selected as Walter Mondale’s running mate for the Democratic ticket in 1984.
Additional information from the Associated Press.