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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Palin endorsements show she's still influential



Sarah-Palin WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin — celebrity conservative, best-selling author, moose hunter — is adding kingmaker to her resume, getting involved in dozens of political races across the country and ramping up speculation about her future as a candidate.

Two years removed from her breakout as John McCain's running mate, Palin figured heavily Thursday in her home state of Alaska, where she backed a little-known candidate for U.S. Senate now on the cusp of a major upset.

In Florida earlier this week, Palin, 46, played a role in Pam Bondi's victory in the three-way GOP primary for attorney general, offering a surprise endorsement and recording a call to voters.

"She has an electrifying effect on the Republican base," Bondi said Thursday as she prepared to write Palin a thank you e-mail.

So far, Palin has waded into more than 40 races in 30 states, from Iowa to New York to Wyoming and California. She is drawn to big-name midterm elections like McCain's primary battle in Arizona and down-ballot contests, often stunning the candidates. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:24am]


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