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Palin endorses …

… Brian Murphy.

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, announced her support of Murphy in his gubernatorial campaign on her Facebook page Wednesday morning. The 33-year-old Murphy will face former Gov. Bob Ehrlich in the Republican primary.

Murphy faces the longest of long odds in his bid to upset Ehrlich, and has placed himself to the right of his Republican foe and Gov. Martin O’Malley, staking solid conservative positions on many hot-button issues.

Murphy is a former portfolio manager for Constellation and head of Smith Island Baking Co., which makes Smith Island cakes, the official state dessert.

Palin’s endorsement should help cement his conservative credentials.

“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 on her page.

By 2 p.m., nearly 3,000 Facebook users said they “liked” the endorsement, and 378 had written comments.

Murphy, in a response posted to his website, said he was “humbled and honored” by the endorsement.

“I look forward to working with her as we unify the Republican Party in Maryland, and around the country, on its core principles,” he wrote.

Given Palin’s negatives and Ehrlich’s need to capture independents and Democrats, who are especially turned off by her, I can’t imagine he’s too upset by the development.

Liam Farrell, the state government reporter at The Capital, has a nice piece on Murphy. That also happens to be where I first saw mention of the Palin endorsement.