The Washington Times - July 18, 2012, 03:07PM

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is backing Sarah Steelman for Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat, handing her endorsement to the former Missouri state treasurer, who is locked into a tight Republican primary next month.

Mrs. Steelman is facing a slew of opponents, including St. Louis businessman John Brunner and Rep. Todd Akin, who trailed her in the race’s most recent polls.


“I am deeply honored and humbled to have earned the endorsement of Governor Palin, whose willingness to stand up and fight for what is right, regardless of the political consequences, has blazed a trail for conservatives who believe as we do, that the status quo has got to go,” Mrs. Steelman said.

The outspoken Mrs. Palin, who served as Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008, called Mrs. Steelman a “common-sense conservative woman.”

“Sarah has run a grass-roots campaign the way it should be run — handshake by handshake, voter by voter, farm to farm, not TV ad after TV ad,” Mrs. Palin said, in a possible jab at Mr. Brunner, who has spent millions of his own money on ads attacking Mrs. Steelman and Mr. Akin.

Mr. Brunner, who has collected his own cache of endorsements, including from  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Freedomworks, was quick to respond.

“We are surprised that a conservative like Sarah Palin would endorse a pro-labor, pro-trial-lawyer, pro-tax, anti-business candidate like Sarah Steelman, who clearly is an unreliable conservative,” he said. “Governor Palin must surely be unaware of Steelman’s anti-conservative record.”