Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has announced she will be stepping down from her post as the state's highest-ranking official on July 26 and will not seek re-election to a second term in 2010.
In a press conference held in her Wasilla, Alaska, hometown Friday, Palin -- who has 18 months left in her first term of office -- said she would be devoting more time to her family, though political insiders also speculate she is shifting her focus onto a 2012 bid for president.
"I never believed that I nor anyone else needs a title to do this, to make a difference," Palin, flanked by her husband, Todd, told reporters. "I'm determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional and it's not so comfortable."
Palin, 45, announced that the state's Lt. Governor Sean Parnell would assume the role of Alaska's chief executive at the end of the month.
Earlier this spring it was announced Palin -- who served as Arizona Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate in 2008 -- inked a book deal with the HarperCollins imprint to detail her Alaskan childhood through last year's presidential campaign and beyond.
The as-yet-untitled tome is expected to cover her political beliefs and her family life, including the pregnancy of her teenage daughter, Bristol Palin, who gave birth in December to a son, Tripp.
"In fairness to my family, this is going be a good opportunity for them, too, because there have been so many misperceptions out there about who we are and what we believe in, and I'm excited to get to put my journalism degree to work and tell my story as it relates to my family," Palin said.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, Palin is expected to get a multimillion-dollar contract.