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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:58 AM Sat, Dec. 15th

Choice of Palin draws praise, confusion

Palin

Palin

Republican presidential candidate John McCain's selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate drew praise from local Republican activists and questions from Democrats.

Palin, the former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 9,000 people, has served as Alaska's governor for the past two years. At 44, she is a relative political unknown in U.S. politics.

Darlene Packard, first vice chairwoman of the Yavapai County Republican Committee, said, "We're really excited. I think it is great. She is pro-life and young."

However, Ben Furlong, chairman of the Yavapai County Democratic Party, said he was surprised.

"I am concerned. We're talking about someone who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. She has only been Alaska's governor for two years. What does she know about the nation's economy? McCain says he's not sure about it. What does she know about national security? Her selection is very surprising," he said.

Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog said, "I think he made an outstanding choice. From what I hear she's been doing a great job in Alaska. With her youth, she is a great choice. She is an extremely bright gal."

As to Palin's only being governor of Alaska for two years, Skoog said she has been doing her job while Barack Obama has spent the past year out campaigning instead of doing his job as a U.S. senator.

The Courier was unable to contact James Kimes, a Prescott Valley Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the state House of the Representatives in 2004, and Malcolm Barrett Jr., a Prescott resident who is active in the Yavapai County Republican Men's Forum, both of whom gave comments on Obama's selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.

Contact the reporter at jeherrmann@prescottaz.com