Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, contributed more than $200,000 to her fellow Republicans during the final three weeks of the just-concluded midterm election campaign.
Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, gave $244,000 to Republican candidates and state parties between Oct. 14 and Nov. 22, new Federal Election Commission filings show -- almost as much as she had given in the almost 22 months since she started her PAC last year. Of that total, $10,000 went to post-election ballot fights in North Carolina and Alaska.
Overall, Palin’s PAC donated $516,500 from Jan. 1, 2009, to Nov. 22, 2010.
Of the 81 candidates she supported in the Nov. 2 elections, more than 50 won, according to a website operated by her supporters. Several Palin-backed Republican nominees for the U.S. House, such as Ann Marie Buerkle in central New York, Frank Guinta in New Hampshire and Paul Gosar in Arizona, ousted Democratic incumbents.
In her home state, Palin supported the Senate campaign of lawyer Joe Miller, who defeated incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary. Murkowski ran a write-in campaign for the general election, claiming victory on Nov. 18 after a lengthy ballot count. Palin, 46, gave Miller $5,000 on Nov. 16 to help with the expenses of a recount after earlier donating $5,000 to his campaign. In 2006, Palin defeated Murkowski’s father, then-Governor Frank Murkowski, in the Republican gubernatorial primary, winning the office that November.
In the race for an open Senate seat in Delaware, Palin backed Republican Christine O’Donnell, who defeated Representative Michael Castle in the Republican primary, then lost the general election to Democrat Chris Coons.
Palin’s campaign donations preceded a post-election media blitz for the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, including an interview with the New York Times in which she said she was considering a White House run in 2012; a new book, “America by Heart”; and a reality show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” which airs on The Learning Channel cable channel, owned by Discovery Communications Inc.
Palin has raised $5.4 million for her PAC, $3.6 million of it in donations of under $200. She spent $4.1 million and had $1.3 million in the bank as of Nov. 22.