Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has made another foray into Maryland politics, endorsing GOP candidate Dan Bongino in what she calls his "uphill battle" for the Senate, his campaign announced Monday.
In 2010, the former Alaska governor backed Republican Brian Murphy in his unsuccessful GOP primary bid against former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Bongino, a retired Secret Service agent, is challenging first-term Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.
"Dan has seen what politicians have done to our country, and he's decided, 'If I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem,'" Palin said in a statement released by the Bongino campaign. "He based his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Maryland on a strong commonsense conservative platform, won his primary, and is now fighting an uphill battle against a 45-year career politician who in fact inherited his first political office from his uncle at the tender age of 23 way back in 1967 and has been in elected office ever since.
"This is more than just a race of Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. It's about taking our country back from the career politicians in both parties who have spent us into debt, nearly taxed us to death, enriched themselves, rewarded their cronies at our expense, and have no vision to help the private sector create the jobs we need to get this economy moving again."
Bongino said he sought the support of the former Alaska governor "because she has a well-documented history of fighting against political insiders and establishment figures from both political parties driven by personal political aggrandizement rather than a desire to create a better tomorrow for our children."
"The citizens of Maryland have been subjected to the failed 'bureaucracy first' ideology of an entrenched political class for far too long," he said. "I am determined to bring both a middle-class perspective and value system back to an unresponsive class of insulated politicians."
The Cardin campaign said it was "not surprised" by the endorsement, "since Sarah Palin is a symbol of the Tea Party Republicans."
"Sarah Palin's track record in Maryland is not very good, even among Republicans," the campaign said in a statement. "She endorsed Bob Ehrlich's opponent and we know how well that went."
The success rate of candidates endorsed by Palin since the vice presidential nomination brought her to national attention in 2008 has been mixed, though it must be said that she has backed longshot outsiders as well as establishment frontrunners.
Her support is credited with helping former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz upset powerful Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst last month in the Republican primary there for U.S. Senate, and with bringing attention to South Carolina state Sen. Nikki Haley in her successful 2010 run for governor.
But her support of Murphy that year ago had little apparent effect on the Republican primary, which Ehrlich won easily.
"I don't believe in ignoring good candidates simply because they're fighting uphill battles against the odds," Palin said in her Bongino endorsement statement. "In fact, I find such candidates incredibly brave and especially worthy of encouragement. In many cases, they are often the most articulate and courageous new conservative voices out there.
"In 2012, we must cede no ground in our effort to win back control of the Senate and secure the House. We must fight every race to make sure we equip our next President with a wise Congress ready to work for all Americans. We also owe it to voters in every state — even the deep blue ones — to support good candidates for office so that they have a genuine choice in November."