July 3rd, 2009
04:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin to step down as governor, not seeking re-election

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she will step down as Alaska's chief executive by the end of the month. She will not seek election to a second gubernatorial term in 2010.

Palin, a Republican, was elected governor in 2006. She was tapped as Arizona Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate last year.

Palin said she was transferring authority to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in on July 26.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," Palin said at an announcement from her home in Wasilla.

"Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine."

Palin added in a statement that she was "determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path. ... Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional 'Lame Duck' status in this particular climate would just be another dose of 'politics as usual,' something I campaigned against and will always oppose."

A Republican source close to Palin's political team told CNN's John King that it was a "calculation" she made that "it was time to move on."

The governor's "book deal and other issues" were "causing a lot of friction up" in her home state, the source said, adding that he believes that she is "mapping out a path to 2012."

Another source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Palin "thinks she has accomplished goals she has set forward. ... She sees what a positive influence she has had on people's lives from traveling the country in the last year."

As the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Palin has been considered one of the front-runners for the next GOP presidential nomination. Her decision not to seek another term as governor is sure to stoke speculation that Palin is seriously eyeing a run for the White House.

In an interview last month with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Palin said she was unsure about her re-election bid because she needed to focus on her state and her family.

"So, no decision yet on either 2010 or let alone 2012?" Blitzer asked.

"No decision that I'd want to announce today," Palin responded.

- CNN's Peter Hamby, John King, Mark Preston, and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

(Updated at 4:45 p.m. with additional information)

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (454 Responses)
  1. Randi L.

    Palin would have lost her re-election, and would not have even made it through a Republican primary for governor in 2010. Alaskans are tired of the drama, the ethical issues, and a governor focused on herself and not the state.

    The fact Palin put book-deal money ahead of her job shouldn't surprise anyone either. She's a pure opportunist taking advantage of her 15 minutes of fame – which will be over long before 2012.

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. AW

    LLB....so are you saying that we should be blind to any woman politicians faults just because she is a woman? Palin is no Hillary so there should never be a comparison1

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Don

    Outside government she can more effectively deal with you guys at CNN and the other unfair media! It will be harder to deal with a citizen and you guys in the media, otherwise known as the order of the Obama defending knights (will you show this comments now?!) will be put in your right place!

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Amused

    She's probably has a contract with Fox News or some other conservative outlet...

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. lynn

    Tina Fay - Please get ready!!

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Michael Stout

    Typical. Remember all those Alaskans who said that after Palin lost the election she'd taken her focus off her home state? Guess they were right. This is just what the GOP...and the country needs. Someone potentially running for President who can't even finish what she started in Alaska. But of course, she REALLY cares about her state.

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. puzzled

    Either there's a potential bombshell in the background, she's poitioning herself for another office (maybe US Senate?), or she doesn't feel governing Alaska through this nasty economy is worth her time. A presidential run would be insane, given her baggage.

    July 3, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Why do we care if Palin is stepping down? Why is this breaking news??? It was long over due.

    July 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. I am Newt's ex wife

    Well shicks...you betcha.....moose killing bag of wind!

    What's next ...the open chair next to Hannity on Faux News?

    You are a political joke and you have let the Alaskan people down

    July 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Elie Hegbe

    I dont even care what she's doing because I would NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE vote for her. If she runs of President I love my country enough to get involved in politics and make sure she does not get elected!

    July 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. moosehead

    The woman has come to her senses,... she's in way over her head ,even as governor of a frontier state. You can get by on bs only for so long. Best thing that could happen to Alaskans.

    July 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Tristan

    Congratulations Alaska!!!

    July 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Anon

    I am glad about she is stepping down as AK Gov., but I hope she won't be run in 2012. If that true, I hope we won't allow nazi party (GOP) to be win for President.

    July 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Tom in CA

    Great Independence Day gift for the citizens of Alaska. Enough said.

    July 3, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. RH

    Wow I can really feel the hate you all feel toward Gov. Palin. Not supprising being that this is commentary on CNN. I'm betting most of you have never set foot on Alaskan soil because that place sure has grown since she's been around, and she was a breath of fresh air from the Murkowski's. The State even balanced its budget and kept a $9 Billion rainy day fund in these troubling economic times, now THAT'S competence.

    By the way, how is our competent president working for you all? I know, I know, its STILL Bush's fault.... Riiigghht..

    July 3, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Troy

    Hmmm....maybe she is the one who is pregnant with A-Rod's baby.

    July 3, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Hilary

    She can't even finish her 1st term as governor and she wants to be president? LMAO. I think either she's pregnant again and has to be put on bed rest or something major is about to be exposed.

    July 3, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. A US Service Man

    Can anyone think of an American politician who resigned from his or her elected office, and came back to serve in government again?
    ***Crickets Chirping***
    Didn't think so.
    Bye bye Palin.

    July 3, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. rms

    I love how womens groups and their supporters ONLY support woman who agree with their point of view! Did anyone stop to think that maybe trying to run a state AND take care of a special needs infant/toddler, plus her other young children, can be more than demanding? And for all the stupid people out there that think because her oldest daughter got pregnant, it means she failed, NO PARENT does watch their 17 yr old kids all the time. Stop being idiots!!

    July 3, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Kiss

    Sarah what the heck is your real reason for quiting. I heard you talking but the real reason never came out. Ok, what do they have on you?

    July 3, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Debbie in Woodstock, IL

    Maybe she's turning her back on her state obligations because she's preparing to devote herself assuming custody of Michael Jackson's 3 children? Hmmm.... wonder if "Blanket" looks Alaskan?

    July 3, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Donnygull

    "LLB, I agree w/ u. Most men can't stand seeing a woman being a lot smarter than them & to all the other women who bashing her like an idiot knows that she is still a hell of lot smarter than McCain, Biden & Obama."

    What kind of fool would or could write this and believe it. All this idiot is saying is: there are a lot of us ignorant hillbilly fools out there that actually think this bimbo can do something worthwhile.

    July 3, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Aaron, Maryland

    And if begins. . .

    I love this woman, a person who can truly electrify the Democratic Base!

    By all means Palin, let your ego map out a course to head the Republican party. . . in the end this will only give Obama four more years to finish his objectives.

    Have at it Madam!

    July 3, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Sarah

    LLB- Palin's done nothing for women. Under her "rule," rape victims in Alaska are responsible for paying for their own rape kit. Further, she's obviously not the brightest, makes judgments and accusations at people, and doesn't practice what she preaches. She's a horrible role model for young women. The sooner she's out of the public eye the better.

    July 3, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Chris in VT

    Why would anyone assume she will be the Republican Nominee in 2012? I doubt she will take the primaries, though even if she did she would be sure to lose to Obama.

    July 3, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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