Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spent the early part of the 2014 midterms traveling the country endorsing conservative candidates in Republican primary races, hoping to leave her mark on the future of the GOP.
But on Wednesday, Palin rebuked her Republican successor in her home state, endorsing independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker, who is running on a "unity ticket" with Democratic running mate Byron Mallott, instead. Palin's endorsement goes against her former lieutenant governor, Gov. Sean Parnell, who assumed office in 2009 when Palin abruptly resigned and is embroiled in a highly contested race for reelection to a second full term.
Palin offered the endorsement at a campaign reception in her Wasilla home, according to a press release issued by Walker.
Parnell's 2013 restructuring of the state's oil and gas taxes dismantled a prior, Palin-championed program that she considered to be one of the greatest achievements of her tenure. That difference of opinion is at the heart of Palin's conflict with Parnell, which resulted in the two campaigning on opposite sides of a ballot measure in this year's primary.
Parnell dismantled Palin's oil-tax increase, called ACES (short for Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share), by signing a repeal of some oil taxes in 2013 that was intended to curb the state's production decline. But many fear the measure will severely diminish the revenue brought in by the state, where oil and gas taxes have accounted for as much as 90 percent of government funds.