By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and her husband, Todd, appear headed for divorce after more than 30 years of marriage, state court records showed.
A divorce complaint, quietly entered in Alaska Superior Court on Friday, cryptically bears only the initials of the two parties – SLP for Sarah Louise Palin and TMP for Todd Mitchell Palin – rather than their names, as well as their matching birth dates, according to the Anchorage court docket.
TMP asked to dissolve the marriage, and the Anchorage Daily News said he cited “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”
The filing describes the couple as having at least one minor child – an apparent reference to the Palins’ 11-year-old son, Trig, who was born with Down syndrome. The Palins also have four adult children.
The electronic court file showed nearly a dozen related records, including a child custody jurisdiction affidavit, a domestic relations procedural order and an information sheet. But none were immediately available for scrutiny.
Alaska media outlets reported the divorcing parties to be the Palins. The story was first covered by longtime Alaska journalist Craig Medred, who publishes an independent news site.
The Palins married in 1988. They are both 55.
Sarah Palin began her political career in the early 1990s on the city council of the family’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, and ran successfully for governor in 2006, becoming the first woman and youngest person ever elected to that post.
Arizona Senator John McCain, then the Republican presidential nominee, stunned the political establishment in August 2008 when he named her as his running mate against the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Following McCain’s defeat, Palin in July 2009 resigned as governor just 2-1/2 years into her four-year term. But she became an outspoken booster for the Republican Tea Party movement while pursuing a new career as a Fox News commentator and reality TV personality.
Todd Palin, nicknamed the state’s “first dude” during his wife’s gubernatorial tenure, once worked for energy company BP Plc on the oil fields of the North Slope and gained fame in Alaska as a four-time champion of the Iron Dog Race, the world’s longest snowmobile contest.
Medred reported that the couple had been scheduled to appear together at a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, in early August, but Todd Palin was absent. The ex-governor said then that her spouse was flying around Alaska.
(Reporting by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage; Editing by Steve Gorman, Dan Grebler and Cynthia Osterman)