Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has endorsed Sarah Steelman in the Missouri Republican primary for U.S. Senate. "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," Steelman said.

Here's Palin's statement:

As we seek to fundamentally restore our great nation to strength and prosperity, we must send more commonsense conservatives to the U.S. Senate. We need sincere public servants who will fight for us, not the special interests and the permanent political class in Washington. Sarah Steelman will fight for all of Missouri and all of us, and that is why we must send her to D.C. this fall.

Steelman, the former state treasurer, is facing congressman Todd Akin and businessman John Brunner in the August 7 GOP primary. All are running to face freshman Democrat Claire McCaskill, one of the top targets for Republicans this cycle.

Steelman has led her GOP rivals slightly in the infrequent polling of the race, with Brunner and Akin not far behind. Brunner, a wealthy businessman, reported spending $2.8 million in the second quarter, far more than his opponents.

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