Alaska Governor Bill Walker and House speaker Rep. Mike Chenault may come from different political parties, but this session they’re playing on the same team, at least on Thursday nights.


Walker is the first governor to join the legislative bowling league. It’s a non-partisan tradition that includes legislative staff and pages. But up until now, never a governor.


In the Capitol building, powers are separated by floors – House Speaker Chenault works on the second, Gov. Walker on the third. By day, intermingling between the two is a rare sight. But on Thursday night, they slipped on the same multi-colored shoes and cheered each other on, bowling together for the first time this session.


“I believe in the separation of powers but not when it comes to bowling, so you know we’re just out having a good time,” said Walker.


Rep. Chenault said the governor asked him last year about joining the team.


“There’s certain differences of opinion, and differences in the way that we think things ought to get done,” said Chenault. “But hopefully by doing this, maybe a little bit more, we can have maybe a little better relationship and a better opportunity to work on Alaska’s problems.”


Walker promised he’d work together with lawmakers this session on big issues, like the budget. There’s a spirit of cooperation in Juneau that’s gone beyond the bills now, to the bowling alley.