[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/16/art.palincu0516.gi.jpg caption="Sarah Palin bucked the GOP establishment on Thursday when she endorsed a Tea Party activist."](CNN) - Sarah Palin bucked the GOP establishment on Thursday when she endorsed Washington state Tea Party activist Clint Didier in his bid for the Senate.
On Twitter Thursday, Palin said she is "inspired" by Didier and said he is a "patriot running for U.S. Senate to serve his state & our country for all the right reasons!"
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has heavily recruited another Republican to run in the race, businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. But Rossi, currently a commercial real estate investor, has so far remained uncommitted with only three weeks to go before the June 11 filing deadline.
Didier, a former professional football player, is relatively unknown in the state, registering 26 percent in a head-to-head matchup against incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray who stood at 50 percent. The same poll also showed Murray beating Rossi 51-34 percent.
Didier has already attacked Rossi, painting him as an firmly entrenched in the Republican establishment.
"If people want more of the same, the McCain or Bush type of governing, then they can support Dino," Didier said in a statement earlier this month.