Palin wades into GOP primary in Maryland governor's race

It's Sarah Palin against the establishment, again. This time the former Alaska governor is trying to unsettle Maryland's Republican primary for governor.

Palin endorsed businessman Brian Murphy on Wednesday in his long-shot bid against former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R). 

"Brian is a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment commonsense conservative and a firm believer in the free market and the cause for energy independence," Palin wrote in a one-paragraph endorsement on her Facebook page Wednesday morning. 

Palin also touted Murphy's private sector experience as a former energy company executive. "He knows how to incentivize industry to get our economy moving again," she wrote. 

It's a primary that by most accounts isn't considered competitive and even with Palin's endorsement, Murphy has an uphill climb against Ehrlich who is already focusing on a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). O'Malley defeated Ehrlich in 2006. 

Still, Maryland-based pollster Patrick Gonzales says while he doesn't have any statewide numbers on Palin's popularity, she is "very popular among Republican primary voters" in a handful of state assembly districts he has polled. 

Ehrlich is the runaway favorite in the Republican primary and has already received support from the Republican National Committee, where his former Lt. Gov., Michael Steele is chairman. 

In early May, the RNC actually found a way around its own rules preventing the committee from pouring money into a Republican primary contest. The rule can apparently be waived with permission from the state party chair and two national committee members from the state.  

Fundraising numbers are due in mid-August and Ehrlich is in need of a strong showing to inspire confidence that he can raise the cash needed to compete with O'Malley on the airways. O'Malley launched his first TV ad of the campaign in mid-July.