In 2006, Sarah Palin was elected governor of Alaska. Running on a clean-government platform, Palin defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary election in August. She then went on to win the general election in November, defeating former Governor Tony Knowles 48.3% to 40.9%. Her running mate was State Senator Sean Parnell.
During the Republican gubernatorial primary campaign, Palin was endorsed by former Alaska Governor Walter Hickel, and groups such as the Alaska Correctional Officers Association and Alaska Right to Life. Later, in the general election for governor, she was supported by Governor Frank Murkowski. Republican U.S. Senator Ted Stevens made a last-moment endorsement, filming a television commercial with Palin for the gubernatorial campaign.
During her campaign for governor, Palin declared that education, public safety, and transportation would be the three cornerstones of her administration. She won the race despite spending less than her Democratic opponent.
Palin became Alaska's first female governor and, at 42, the youngest in state history. She is the first Alaskan governor born after Alaska achieved U.S. statehood and the first governor not inaugurated in Juneau; she chose to have the ceremony in Fairbanks instead. She took office on December 4, 2006, and maintained a high approval rating throughout her term;.
On July 3, 2009, Sarah Palin announced her resignation as governor of Alaska. She stepped down on July 26, 2009, being replaced by Governor Sean Parnell.