The governor of the U.S. state of Alaska, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has officially left her post.
Palin stepped down Sunday, after announcing earlier this month she will leave the governorship with some 17 months left in her term. She is being replaced by Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.
In her farewell speech in the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, Sunday, she said she is stepping down to avoid an unproductive "lame duck" status in the final months of her term. She said stepping down will allow her to fight even harder for what is right and on behalf of Alaskans.
She did not comment on speculation that she will run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Palin rose from relative political obscurity after Republican candidate John McCain selected her as his running mate last year in his unsuccessful run for the presidency.
In her address, she also took stabs at the media, warning reporters to leave the new governor's children alone. Palin recently feuded with a late-night talk show host over jokes he made about her daughter.
She also accused "Hollywood" - the entertainment industry - of using Alaska as "a fundraising tool for their second-amendment causes," referring to the right to bear arms. She said Alaskans eat, so they hunt.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.