The article starts with the notion that the relationship between the political and the administrative sphere should be viewed as a variable, opening up for the possibility that it may vary among contexts, formal structures, demographics, and over time. Studying the interaction between politicians and administrators in 30 Norwegian municipalities, data indicate that the interaction between the spheres is mainly a function of the position politicians and administrators have within the formal structure. More importantly, the effect of the formal structure is strengthened over time. This indicates that election may work as a “shock” to the political and administrative system, weakening the effect of the formal structure. Over time, this formal structure is rebuilt, and thus strengthens its effects on the relationship. Implications and limitations of the findings are discussed.