A new political partnership has formed between two former rivals. Independent Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott officially joined forces on the independent ticket to take on Gov. Sean Parnell in November.


It’s an unprecedented move, one that both candidates call putting people before politics.


It’s a partnership forged after the former rivals decided to stop fighting.


“We shared the back end of a four-wheeler on our way to the airport precariously balanced and there was a moment that I thought, if I pushed him off things might change,” Mallott joked.


All joking aside, the two believe they can’t beat Parnell separately, but together they say they’re the duo that’s putting politics aside for the sake of Alaska.


“We talk about bipartisanship and having a bipartisan administration. We’ll have a no-partisan administration,” Walker said.


Their so-called nonpartisan partnership formed when the two realized their ideals are similar.


“They overlapped so much that there was little differentiation between us,” Mallott said.


Their biggest concern is what they call our state’s debilitating debt. Together, they say they’re a new kind of team that will change Alaska’s financial future.


“I’ve said in jest before that the lieutenant governor role was to be down the hall 300 yards, hoping that the governor has a bad heath day. We’re not gonna have that,” Walker said.


Walker says the two will be equals, but at the end of the day Mallott is running for lieutenant governor, a decision Mallott said was agonizing to make.


“I’m comfortable in the sense that I believe a huge majority of those who voted for me wanted a better Alaska and they wanted a result,” he said.


Walker will change his affiliation from Republican to undeclared. Mallott will stay a registered Democrat. Former lieutenant governor candidates Craig Fleener and Hollis French dropped out of their races.


The governor calls the new Walker-Mallott ticket a manipulation of the political process.


Parnell says the Democrat and registered Republican are playing the system. Mallott and Walker are disenfranchising the thousands of voters who cast their ballots for them in the primary, on different tickets, the governor says.


He calls the move dishonest, and says Alaskans won’t put up with the type of tactics, he says, are for personal gain.


“What I see is Bill Walker welcoming me into the Republican primary saying ‘whoops, I’m not gonna do that, I’m gonna be an independent.’ Then in the general election: ‘whoops, now I’m gonna bring in Byron Mallott.’ It’s really just, who are you going to trust in this election? Are you gonna trust someone who can’t make and stick with a decision?”