Alaska Governor Sarah Palin surprised supporters and announced she is resigning from office at the end of the month, leaving open the possibility she would seek a run for the White House in 2012.
The news rattles a Republican Party plagued with setbacks in recent weeks.
Palin and her staff kept her future plans shrouded in mystery, and it was unclear if the controversial hockey mom would quietly return to private life or begin laying the foundation for a presidential bid.
Palin hinted she had a bigger role in mind, saying she wanted to make a “positive change outside government.”
But she kept supporters in suspense, promising on Twitter: “We’ll soon attach info on decision to not seek re-election ... this is in Alaska’s best interest, my family’s happy ... it is good.
In a hastily arranged news conference at her home in Wasilla, Palin said she will formally step down July 26.