Sarah Palin endorsed retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness (R) in the Louisiana race for U.S. Senate Thursday, giving the underdog candidate a boost in what's been an uphill climb on the campaign trail.

"In the Louisiana Senate race we have the opportunity to send a true conservative and a real warrior to join that fight. So, today I am lending my support to retired Col. Rob Maness for U.S. Senate," said Palin in a statement.

Palin has been wading into contested races more and more in recent months. Maness is an underdog in a race that features Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) and vulnerable Sen. Mary Landrieu (D).

Maness released his first TV ad Thursday, promising to stand up to "the career politicians and the alligators."

Louisiana's open primary system means all the candidates will square off in November. If a candidate does not receive majority support, the top two advance to a runoff.