On December 4, 2006, Governor Sarah Palin made history as the first woman to become her state's chief executive. As the 11th governor of Alaska, she has successfully fought the special interests, the lobbyists, the Big Oil companies and the good ol' boys network to reform a system that had bred corruption in her state.
Since taking office, her top priorities have been energy development, ethics reform, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development. She has brought Republicans, Democrats and Independents together to work to change the status quo in Alaska.
Under her leadership, the state invested $5 billion in savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program to provide support for low-income older Alaskans. She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to oversee and maintain oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure, and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.
During her first legislative session, Governor Palin’s administration passed major pieces of legislation. She came to office promising landmark ethics reform to end the culture of self-dealing, and today, that ethics reform is the law.
Governor Palin took on the oil companies and began a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline. Because of her leadership, work has begun on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline – the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history – to help lead our country to energy independence.
When oil and gas prices went up dramatically and the state revenues rose, Governor Palin sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska. She also suspended the state's fuel tax.
In office, Governor Palin championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending. She has used her veto pen to eliminate nearly a half a billion dollars in wasteful spending. She told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for the "Bridge to Nowhere." Upon taking office, Governor Palin took common-sense steps to trim the size and cost of her office. She sold the state's luxury jet, eliminated the personal chef and got rid of the personal driver.
As Governor, Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She also serves as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.
Prior to her election as governor, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the Mayor of Wasilla. During her tenure, she reduced property tax levels while increasing services and made Wasilla a business friendly environment, drawing in new industry. She stopped wasteful spending and put the people first.
She also served as chair and ethics commissioner of the Alaska Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska's most valuable non-renewable resources: oil and gas. When she found corruption there, she fought it and brought the offenders to account, even though they may have been members of her own party.
Sarah Heath Palin arrived in Alaska with her family in 1964, when her parents came to teach school. She received a bachelor of science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987. Palin, who graduated from Wasilla High School in 1982, has lived in Skagway, Eagle River and Wasilla.
She is married to Todd Palin who she met in high school. Todd is a lifelong Alaskan, a commercial fisherman, a production operator on Alaska's North Slope, a proud member of the United Steelworkers Union and a world champion snow machine racer. Together, they recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. Through Todd’s Yup'ik grandmother, Alaska’s Native heritage plays an important role in their family.
Todd and Sarah have five children – Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Track enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 11, 2007 and is set to deploy to Iraq in the service of his country. This year, Trig joined the Palin family. As the mother of a special-needs child, Governor Palin has pledged to all those families with special-needs children to be their advocate in the White House.
Prior to taking office, Governor Palin served on numerous boards and commissions throughout the state. In many ways, she was just your average 'hockey mom.' She was active in her family’s pursuits – including serving as a sports team mom, coaching basketball and volunteering on the PTA to help make her kids' public education better. She also runs marathons.
Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA and enjoys hunting, fishing, Alaska history, and all that Alaska's great outdoors has to offer.