Sarah Palin waded into the contested Republican primary for U.S. Senate in her home state on Friday, throwing her support behind long-shot tea party candidate Joe Miller.
"The status quo has got to go, and in Alaska the man who understands this key to our state and country’s future also has the guts, wisdom, experience, and optimism to fight for what is right – and win," Palin writes in a statement on her Facebook page. "We said we'd send the good guys in Washington their reinforcements; so, Alaska, here we go! Vote for Joe Miller on Tuesday and shake off the liberal stranglehold so we can get on the right track."
Palin, a former Alaska governor, also backed Miller when he ran in 2010. He won the Republican nomination that year against Sen. Liza Murkowski. But Murkowski got the last laugh, defeating him as a write-in candidate in November.
Palin's endorsement came a day after Miller pledged to support whoever wins the Republican nomination. There had been some speculation he might run as an independent if he loses.
The front-runner in Tuesday's primary is former attorney general Dan Sullivan. Also in the mix is Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.
The winner will face Sen. Mark Begich (D). Alaska is one of four states Mitt Romney (R) carried in the 2012 presidential election in which a Democratic senator is running for reelection. Strategists in both parties expect a competitive contest.