Sarah Palin has endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York's 23rd district special election. Palin posted a statement last night on her Facebook page (her medium of choice since stepping down as governor) announcing that her political organization, SarahPAC, will donate the maximum legal amount, $2,400, to Hoffman's campaign.

It's the second high-profile endorsement Hoffman has received of late, as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey spoke in support of Hoffman in upstate New York Wednesday night.

Here's Palin's full statement:

The people of the 23rd Congressional District of New York are ready to shake things up, and Doug Hoffman is coming on strong as Election Day approaches! He needs our help now.

The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it's important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York's 23rd Congressional district. It's my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a "time for choosing."

The federal government borrows, spends, and prints too much money, while our national debt hits a record high. Government is growing while the private sector is shrinking, and unemployment is on the rise. Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.

Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of "blurring the lines" between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party's ticket.

Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.

You can help Doug by visiting his official website below and joining me in supporting his campaign:
http://www.doughoffmanforcongress.com/donate3.html.

- Sarah Palin

This isn't a very surprising move: Hoffman has amassed a good deal of national conservative credibility, as the conservative wing of the GOP voices its dissatisfaction with Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava and the national GOP's support for her.

The election is shaping up--along with conservative upstart Marco Rubio's primary challenge to moderate Gov. Charlie Crist's (R) Senate bid in Florida--as a flashpoint in the GOP's internal struggle between conservatives and moderates. Along with the Club for Growth, conservative blog RedState, the National Review, The Washington Times, and Armey (whose group, FreedomWorks, is one of the major organizing/facilitating bodies of the Tea Party movement), Palin has chosen Hoffman as an emblem of the GOP's growing conservative voices.

Democrat Bill Owens has outraised and outspent both Hoffman and Scozzafava by roughly two to one, though the district's conservative tendencies--it hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress since the Civil War--makes it an unfavorable environment for the race's money leader.

Owens got some help from President Obama, who attended a fundraising dinner for him earlier this week; now, with Palin's national influence, Hoffman could see some money come flooding in before the Nov. 3 election date. Scozzafava, even with the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee, could be left out in the cold.

The latest poll in the district, taken by Research 2000 on behalf of Daily Kos, shows Owens leading with 35 percent, Scozzafava trailing him with 30 percent, and Hoffman in third with 23 percent.

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