Sarah Palin endorses fellow ‘mama grizzly’ Lizbeth Benacquisto for Fla. CD19

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday that she’s endorsing Florida Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto’s bid to represent Florida’s Congressional District 19, calling her “the only proven conservative in the race.”

The seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, a Republican who resigned after an arrest on cocaine charges.

“She served her constituents well and has never forgotten who put her in office – the people,” Palin said on her Facebook page. “Lizbeth will take these values to Washington to fight for us all.”

The primary is set for April 22, and the general special election is scheduled for June 24.

Benacquisto has “an unwavering commitment to the principles of our Founders and to the sanctity of life,” Palin wrote. “In the Florida State Senate she has a record that demonstrates a willingness to take on special interests and rein in the scope of government. A fierce advocate for her constituents, Lizbeth has introduced and pushed through legislation to protect our senior citizens.”

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She called Benacquisto a fellow “mama grizzly,” saying of her 2010 revelation that she had been raped as a teen:

In particular, Lizbeth’s personal triumph over hardship and staunch defense of life is inspiring. In 2010, her opponent, to his detriment, tried to use her past against her; watch her inspiring response here: We need this fighter and advocate for women and innocent life in Washington!

In explaining why she couldn’t support political newbie Curt Clawson, a retired businessman and former college basketball star at Perdue University, Palin said:

I admire and respect the good folks supporting other candidates in this race, but we’ll have to disagree on this one. Lizbeth is running against a wealthy self-funded candidate with lots of splashy campaign ads claiming to be a conservative. Since when do conservatives stand for crony capitalism and government bailouts? Please do your homework, voters. Look beyond the fancy anonymous campaign ads. Look at a candidate’s record, not just their rhetoric. Lizbeth is a genuine conservative with a track record to prove it.

Benacquisto expressed gratitude for Palin;s endorsement.

“On the national stage, there is no greater voice for principled conservatism and the spirit of the Founders than Governor Sarah Palin,” Benacquisto said in a statement. “To have the support of Sarah, someone so dedicated to getting this nation back on the path to prosperity, is a tremendous honor.”

Palin closed her post with a request that her followers visit Benacquisto’s campaign website and offer support.


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