Anchorage Assembly member Meg Zaletel to face recall vote in special election

Anchorage Assembly, Meg Zaletel, assembly

The Anchorage city clerk’s office has certified a recall petition against Midtown Anchorage Assembly member Meg Zaletel, after verifying recall organizers have collected enough signatures.

That means a special election will be held later this year for voters in District 4, which Zaletel represents, according a letter the clerk’s office sent Wednesday to recall organizer Russell Biggs.

The Alaska Supreme Court last week ruled that the recall petition is valid. Biggs filed two recall petitions against Zaletel. Both were initially rejected by the municipal clerk, Barbara Jones. Biggs challenged the decisions in court, and prevailed on one of the petitions.

Biggs, an anesthesiologist and Midtown resident, also spearheaded a failed recall effort against Assembly member Felix Rivera in the April municipal election.

Biggs claims Zaletel violated a city COVID-19 emergency order last year when she participated in an Assembly meeting with more than 15 people present. The courts did not decide on that claim, because under Alaska law, voters decide whether the allegations in a recall petition are true.

Biggs has also generally spoken in protest of Zaletel’s actions as part of the Assembly’s more liberal majority.

Zaletel has called the recall effort is a waste of the city’s money and “the time I could be spending continuing to work on behalf of people in town.”

If Zaletel keeps her seat in the special election, she will be up for reelection in April.