GOING ROGUE

Palin Endorses Third Party Candidate

Sarah Palin is breaking with the Republican establishment to weigh in on the race to fill the seat in New York's 23rd district that was vacated by former Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) when he took a position as Secretary of the Army. The former VP nominee is backing Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, whose run has become a cause célèbre on the right thanks to Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava's moderate stance on labor issues and gay marriage. The move puts Palin at odds with potential 2012 competitor Newt Gingrich, who has backed Scozzafava and accused her conservative opponents of undermining the party. The split could end up putting Democrat Bill Owens in office, giving his party control of the normally Republican seat.