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Sarah Louise Palin (pronounced /ˈpeɪlɨn/ ( listen); née Heath; born February 11, 1964) is an American politician, author, speaker, and political news commentator who was the youngest person and the first woman elected Governor of Alaska. Chosen by Republican Party presidential candidate John McCain in August 2008 to be his running mate in that year's presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party, as well as the first female vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Speculation that she would run for U.S. president in 2012 began when it appeared the 2008 McCain–Palin ticket was going to be defeated.
Before she was elected governor, she was a member of the Wasilla, Alaska City Council from 1992 to 1996, and the city's mayor from 1996 to 2002. After an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor of Alaska in 2002, she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 until she resigned in 2004.