CNN) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain's choice for his running mate, is a pioneering figure in her state with a strong reputation as a political outsider
Palin, 44, married her high school boyfriend, Todd Palin, in 1988. He's an oil production operator on Alaska's North Slope.
They have five children, including a son who enlisted in the Army last year.
Sarah Palin catapulted to top post in Alaska government after a stint in local politics. She was mayor and a City Council member of the small town of Wasilla, Alaska, and was chairman of the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska's oil and gas resources, in 2003 and 2004.
The conservative Palin defeated two so-called political insiders for the governor's job, incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary and former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles in the 2006 general election. Palin made her name in part for backing tough ethical standards for politicians. During the first legislation session after her election, her administration passed a state ethics law overhaul
· Professional career: Television sports reporter, 1987-89; co-owner, commercial fishing operation, 1988-2007; owner, snow machine, watercraft and all-terrain vehicle business, 1994-97; chairwoman, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2003-2004.
· Born: February 11, 1964, Sandpoint, Idaho
· Education: B.S., University of Idaho, 1987 · Elected offices: Wasilla, Alaska, City Council member, 1992-1996
w/ Verner Wilson
...yeah, she's kinda HOT for a "barracuda"
She has been named chair of the National Governors Association's Natural Resources Committee. That panel is focused on legislation to ensure federal policies take state priorities into account in agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.
She is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and practices two of Alaska's popular pastimes -- fishing and hunting.
She graduated from Wasilla High School in 1982 and received a bachelor of science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.