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Governor Bill Walker was born in Fairbanks and raised in Delta Junction and Valdez. His parents, Ed and Francis Walker, were Alaskan pioneers. As a family, the Walkers celebrated Alaska Statehood in 1959, survived the 1964 Earthquake, and worked together in the family construction and hotel businesses.
Walker also worked as a carpenter, teamster and laborer on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline construction to pay for his education. He earned his bachelor of science degree in business management from Lewis and Clark College and his juris doctor from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University). Prior to taking office, Governor Walker and his wife, Donna, owned a law firm that focused on municipal and oil and gas law.
In 2013, Bill launched his gubernatorial campaign. Politics was not his passion, but the prosperity of the young state he grew up with motivated him to run. He initially filed as a republican but early in the campaign he recognized that his values didn't match up with a particular party.
Walker has often said: "I'm not a republican and I'm not a democrat. I'm an Alaskan." With that as his guiding principle, Walker shifted the course of the campaign in 2013 and ran as an Independent.
This move proved to have several challenges in the fact that he no longer had a party structure to support or promote the campaign. However, Bill now had the freedom to set out his own platform and pursue the priorities that mattered to many Alaskans. Along the campaign trail, Bill had frequent contact with the Democratic challenger for governor, Byron Mallott. The candidates anticipated a toe-to-toe matchup but quickly realized that despite their differences, they saw eye-to-eye on the issues Alaska faced. They joined forces and won the 2014 election, succeeding the incumbent governor.
Most recently, Governor Walker joined forces with Governor Hickenlooper (D. Colorado) and Governor Kasich (R. Ohio) to bring forward a bipartisan healthcare plan. At the press conference unveiling the plan, Gov. Walker stated: "Health care is a human issue. It's an American issue that we need to embrace. … The pendulum swinging back and forth between administrations on health care — that's got to stop."
Today, the Walker Mallott administration is the only non-partisan administration in the country. They continue to support nonpartisan and bipartisan efforts to find solutions for people - not politics.