The Republican Party of Florida has suspended Chairman Christian Ziegler and called for his resignation following an emergency meeting. This move comes in response to ongoing police investigations into rape allegations against him.
According to police records, Ziegler is accused of sexually assaulting a woman with whom he and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, had a previous consensual sexual relationship.
The party’s motion to censure Ziegler cited his conduct as rendering him unfit for office. Ziegler attempted to defend himself during a closed-door meeting, but the party board swiftly took action against him.
The party’s executive committee plans to hold a future vote regarding Ziegler’s potential removal from office.
The Sarasota Police Department is currently investigating the rape accusation, which alleges that Ziegler assaulted the woman at her apartment in October. Police documents indicate that the Zieglers and the woman had initially planned a sexual encounter that day, but Bridget Ziegler was unable to attend. The accuser claims that Christian Ziegler arrived anyway and assaulted her.
It is important to note that Christian Ziegler has not been charged with a crime and maintains his innocence, contending that the encounter was consensual.
This accusation has also had repercussions for Bridget Ziegler, an elected member of the Sarasota School Board, although she has not been accused of any criminal activity. The school board voted to request her resignation, but she declined.
The Zieglers, known for their opposition to LGBTQ+ rights, have faced criticism and accusations of hypocrisy due to their relationship with another woman.
Notably, prominent Republican figures, including Governor Ron DeSantis, Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, US Representative Matt Gaetz, and Florida’s Republican House and Senate leaders, have all called for Christian Ziegler’s resignation.