JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Democrats in a western Alaska House district plan to meet Tuesday to choose a new leader to help guide efforts to find candidates to replace Rep. Zach Fansler.

Fansler is resigning after the Juneau Empire reported a woman accused him of slapping her hard enough to rupture an ear drum. An attorney for Fansler has denied the allegations.

Jay Parmley, executive director of the state Democratic party, says the Democratic chair in Fansler’s district recently resigned.

When legislative vacancies occur, local districts traditionally send a list of nominees to the governor for consideration.

The governor isn’t bound to the list but the appointment is subject to confirmation by members of the party in the chamber where the vacancy occurred. In this case, House Democrats must sign off.

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