She served two-terms on the Wasilla City Council and became a two-term mayor and manager of Wasilla, one of Alaska's fastest growing communities. She was also elected President of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.
In 2002, Palin made a failed bid to become the state's lieutenant governor, coming in second place behind Loren Leman in a four way race in spite of being heavily outspent by her opponents. After Frank Murkowski became governor, resigning from his long-time U.S. Senate seat, Palin was widely considered by many to be a final candidate for the job, before it went to the governor's daughter, Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Gov. Murkowski did, however, tap Palin to serve as a commissioner on the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which she served on during 2003-2004, but later resigned, in protest over the lack of ethics by fellow Alaskan Republican leaders, including the state party's chairman, Randy Ruedrich, a fellow commissioner, who was accused of doing work for the party on public time. She filed formal complaints against both Ruedrich and former state Attorney General Gregg Renkes.
Currently, she is serving an elected term on the Valley Hospital board.
Politics and IssuesEdit
Despite being considered a maverick by many for rebuking some top Alaska Republican officials for ethical violations, Palin's conservative political credentials remain intact.
Recently, she joined efforts to create an "all-Alaska" natural gas pipeline. Palin describes an all-Alaska pipeline as her preferred choice, but is not entirely opposed to the alternative of running the pipeline through Canada, to the Lower 48. She also supports rotating legislative sessions, at least on occasion, out of the state capital, Juneau, and re-establishing the distribution of state oil revenues — municipal revenue sharing — to help local governments.
Palin claims that education, public safety, and transportation will be three focuses of her administration.
Palin's husband, Todd, works on the North Slope and is a commercial fisherman. She also has four children.
In the past, Palin was named one of Alaska's "Top 40 Under 40", Alaska's Public Works "Person of the Year", and was recently inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society at Alaska Pacific University. She is also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.