Woman Who Beat Palin In Pageant Running For State Rep.

8:54 AM, May 13, 2010   |    comments
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Maryline Blackburn

You might remember Maryline Blackburn. She's the woman who beat Sarah Palin in the Miss Alaska pageant years before Palin became a household name on the world political stage.

These days Blackburn is making her own bid in the world of politics.

When Blackburn won the pageant back in 1984, Palin was on the far left. At least in the group photo of the contestants.

Today, she's well to the right, politically. But her pageant alum says Palin's real accomplishment was opening doors for other women.

"I think for all women we are excited when we see we can make the achievements that we have as a group of women," said Blackburn.

And that's why she wants to make her own mark in politics. Running as a democrat in the 34th district of the Georgia state house.

"I think I'm a rather vocal individual," she said. "And I just decided that there were some issues that I was concerned about; and after speaking with the voters in my community and my district we all had the same concerns. And I figured it was time for somebody to step up to the plate and hello it was me."

When Blackburn says she's a "vocal" individual, she's not kidding. She's a professional singer who describes her music as progressive. Just like her politics.

"This is where my focus is now, to be right here to make sure the voices are heard to make the changes are made to move this state forward," she said.

Blackburn knows she's got her work cut out for her. She's running as a democrat in republican territory against a 6-term incumbent Rich Golick.

But Blackburn says she's got a track record of beating long odds.

"25 years ago, I ran a race, and I won that one," said Blackburn. "And I wished Sarah Palin the best when she climbed her ladder for the nomination for the Republican Party at this point I'm in another race. and that happens to be with Rich Golick and that's where my focus is."

To that end, she's cranking up her social media machine to get her name out and generate buzz for her bid, which is already bringing her international attention as a person to watch.

"It's not just one person that's going to bring star power to our party," she added. "It's all of us together it's a joint effort."

Blackburn hopes to ride the wave of anti-incumbent outrage sweeping the country this November, a wave that ironically is getting much of its momentum from Sarah Palin.

"If there is a change it's going to be a change for the better," Blackburn said. "And I think we have to leave that up to the people to make that decision."

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