Events in Palin's political career

July 26, 2009 

• 1992-1996: Sarah Palin enters public life in Alaska, serving two terms on the Wasilla City Council.

• 1996-2002: Palin is elected Wasilla mayor, serves two terms until term limits force her from office.

• 2002: Palin loses her first statewide campaign for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.

• 2002: Palin is named chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission by then-Gov. Frank Murkowski.

• 2003: Palin splits with party leaders by exposing ethics violations by Randy Ruedrich, the head of Alaska Republican Party and a fellow commissioner on the AOGCC.

• 2006: Palin elected Alaska governor defeating the incumbent, Murkowski, in the primary and then beating Democrat Tony Knowles, a former two-term governor, and independent Andrew Halcro in the general election. Takes office in Fairbanks.

• August 2008: In her biggest legislative victory in office, lawmakers approve her plan to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope.

• August 2008: John McCain picks Palin as his vice presidential running mate in a startling selection that makes the Alaska governor the first woman named to a spot on a Republican national ticket.

• October 2008: Palin is investigated for the firing of a public safety commissioner who said he felt pressure from the governor, her husband and her staff to fire a state trooper divorced from Palin's sister. An investigator hired by the Alaska Legislature finds Palin abused her power in office, but a report by the Alaska Personnel Board on the eve of the election clears Palin of wrongdoing in so-called Troopergate.

• November 2008: McCain and Palin lose the 2008 presidential race.

• January-April 2009: Palin returns to Alaska, but finds her relationship with lawmakers has deteriorated after the partisan presidential election.

• July 3, 2009: Palin makes surprise announcement that she will resign as governor.

• July 26, 2009: Palin resigns; Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell sworn in.

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