The story

Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she will step down as Alaska's chief executive by the end of the month. She will not seek election to a second gubernatorial term in 2010.

As the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin had been considered one of the front-runners for the GOP nomination in 2012.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," Palin said in an announcement from her home in Wasilla. "Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine." Read full article »

CNN's Peter Hamby, John King, Mark Preston, Kristi Keck and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

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