Donald Trump has locked in a key endorsement in his race to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States from none other than Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump

Palin, who shot to notoriety when she was cast as John McCain‘s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, has thrown her support behind real estate mogul Trump for 2016. “I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president,” Palin said in a statement provided by the Trump campaign.

In a statement confirming Palin’s endorsement, Trump said, “I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement. She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”

Despite numerous missteps during the 2008 campaign and many since, Palin remains a major fixture in the Republican party. Palin, whose faith has remained at the center of her political identity, particularly still has clout among the Evangelical voters Trump has been intent on wooing ahead of the Iowa caucus.

“Over the years Palin has actually cultivated a number of relationships in Iowa,” Craig Robinson, the former executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times. ”There are the Tea Party activists who still think she’s great and a breath of fresh air, but she also did a good job of courting Republican donors in the state.”

Prior to the official announcement of the endorsement, the communications director for Trump’s biggest competition for the Republican nomination – Ted Cruz – seemed to be fearful of it. Tyler, who likely had a hand in orchestrating Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson‘s video endorsement of Cruz, reacted to the rumors with thinly veiled contempt for Palin.

“I think it would be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion of the conservative cause and if she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion, he supported [the] TARP bailout — it goes on and on and on,” Tyler said. “Donald Trump claims he’s changed all those views. But I think if it was Sarah Palin, let me just say I would be deeply disappointed.”

Cruz, for his part, tried to take the endorsement blow with grace on Twitter, writing, “I love @SarahPalinUSA Without her support, I wouldn’t be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan.”