SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska




July 03, 2009

(SitNews) - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she will not seek a second term as Governor of the State of Alaska and will relegate the power of governor to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell in order to serve Alaska's best interests. Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will move into Parnell's current role.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," said Governor Palin. "Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine."

jpg Governor Palin

Governor Palin announced today that she will step aside on July 26 at a ceremony in Fairbanks. (L to R) Rachel, Grace, Sandra and Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, Gov. Sarah Palin, Todd Palin, Piper and Trig Palin.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

Standing outside her home in Wasilla, Alaska, Governor Palin reflected upon some of the administration's accomplishments for Alaska as she approaches her final year in office.

"I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path," said Governor Palin after the announcement. "Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional 'Lame Duck' status in this particular climate would just be another dose of 'politics as usual,' something I campaigned against and will always oppose. It is my duty to always protect our great state. With that in mind, my family and I determined that it is best to make a difference this summer, and I am willing to change things, so that this administration, with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future, can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success. I look forward to helping others ­ to fight for our state and our country, and campaign for those who believe in smaller government, free enterprise, strong national security, support for our troops, and energy independence." The transfer of power will occur following the Governor's picnic in Fairbanks on July 26. At that point in time, Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell will be sworn in and Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume his role as Lieutenant Governor. Governor Palin will spend July 4th in Juneau.

jpg Palin & Parnell

Governor Sarah Palin discusses the transfer of power with Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell shortly after announcing she will step down, effective July 26.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

In his prepared remarks, Lt. Governor Sean Parnell said, "It is with a heavy heart that I hear these words. I so appreciate what you have done for our state and your sacrificial service. You have been a strong leader for our state, you've inspired a nation, and you've ignited the fire of real hope around the world."

Parnell said, "I profoundly respect your decision for I know the depth of character and integrity from which it springs. Rare, indeed, are such selfless acts seen in the public arena."

Parnell assured Alaskans of the good team in place to move Alaska forward and spoke briefly about what Alaskans can expect.

"We've got an extremely talented team of commissioners and I intend to keep them working hard for our state. I will work with the governor to coordinate with the cabinet and staffs on a seamless, stable transition. And, I will work closely with legislators, community leaders, and individual Alaskans to accomplish these ends," said Parnell.

He said, "I came into office believing and still strongly believe that the power, rights, and responsibilities of our government belong to the people. Alaskans can expect me to focus on positioning Alaska for economic growth by creating legacy opportunities for our people and future generations."

Parnell said his top priority is to get a gasline. "I will continue the course set by the governor that has produced such forward progress these past two years. I will continue to support and promote responsible resource development and energy development of all kinds for Alaskans."

"State government will live within its means," said Parnell, "and we will provide a stable investment climate for job creation. We remain committed to education, safe homes, and transportation. We proudly and resolutely support our military, veterans, and their families, and we will protect second amendment rights. Perhaps most importantly, we cherish life and liberty."

Parnell thanked Governor Palin for holding fast to these principles during her service. "Personally, I thank her for the confidence she's placed in me, for her trust, and for her friendship. As Alaska celebrates her 50th year of statehood, I believe history will look back on Sarah Palin as one of Alaska's great gifts to all peoples. You have served honorably, Governor. God bless you," said Parnell.

In a prepared statement House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) said, "I, as I suspect most Alaskans, was stunned this morning by the Governor's shocking announcement that she was not only not running for a second term, but that she was actually leaving her elected office." Kerttula said, "On the one hand, it is almost a relief. But on another, deeper level, it is disturbing that she is leaving her post. On the eve of the 4th of July, in Alaska's 50th year of statehood, to have the Governor stand down is a terrible statement about commitment to public service and our state."

Kerttula said, "This is a critical time in Alaska. As we face a struggling national economy and a global shift in attitudes about energy, we are also still early in our quest for a pipeline to bring Alaska's valuable natural gas to market. Though ExxonMobile has now partnered with TransCanada, we still know none of the critical details of that deal. This next legislative session will be one of the most important in the history of the state. While we wrestle not only with the terms and possibly the very structure of a pipeline deal, we are also facing rising energy costs, critical health care decisions and high unemployment. This next session could decide whether AGIA actually becomes a pipeline project, or remains just a pipe dream. The governor has decided to walk away from us at the very moment Alaskans need her most."

Kerttula said, "Ultimately, as a public servant, you ask your fellow citizens for their confidence and their votes. In exchange you must make certain promises ­ promises to honor that confidence by placing the voters' interests at the top of your own priorities list and to live within the restrictions of public life. The governor has left many Alaskans stunned and disappointed today by failing to fulfill that promise. I wish Sean Parnell the best of luck as he steps in to fill the vacancy left by Governor Palin."

Selected Accomplishments of the Palin Administration are:


  • Transferred more control of public issues to the local level Natural Resources
  • Created the Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to oversee responsible development
  • Held the line for Alaskans on Point Thomson that encouraged drilling
  • Restructured the state's oil taxes to create a clear and equitable valuation formula for our oil and gas
  • Initiated and implemented the largest energy project in the world through the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act
  • Removed government from the dairy business and put it back into private-sector hands


  • Ushered in ethics reform
  • Cleaned up previously accepted unethical actions affecting development

Fiscal Notes

  • Slowed the rate of government growth
  • Worked with the Legislature to place billions of dollars in savings
  • Vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars in capital budget line items
  • Reduced Alaska's dependence on federal earmarks by nearly 85%
  • Eliminated state-funded personal luxuries like the jet, the chef, and junkets
  • Refused a pay raise, along with the Lieutenant Governor


  • Provided unprecedented support for education initiatives Public Safety
  • Filled long-vacant public safety positions over the last year Corrections
  • Broke ground on the new state prison

Fish and Game

  • Maintained biologically-sound wildlife management for abundance Environment
  • Established first sub-Cabinet on climate change


  • State's rights protected in two recent victories handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court


On the Web:

Governor Sarah Palin's Comments to the People of Alaska


Sources of News:

Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska