(RightWing.org) – Christian Ziegler has been the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida since February, but was a political consultant and Sarasota County commissioner for years before that. He and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, were seen as rising stars in the political realm, with her sitting on the Sarasota County School Board and co-founding Moms for Liberty. However, now the two are in the news for a totally different reason and it’s causing quite a scandal. So much so, there are calls for his resignation and the state’s Republican Party has suspended him.
The scandal dates back to October 2, when Christian Ziegler visited a woman’s home and once there, he sexually assaulted her. She reported the assault two days later after a friend called police on her behalf. Over the coming days and weeks, more information came out about the encounter.
Reportedly, the Zieglers were in a consensual sexual relationship with the accuser and had plans to meet up the day of the encounter. However, according to police records, text messages show that Bridget was unable to make it that day and the woman wanted to cancel. Ziegler showed up anyway and that’s when the woman says he raped her. He also recorded part of the encounter and police have the footage.
In the wake of the scandal and the accusations, many, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), have called for him to step down. He refused, saying he did nothing wrong and the encounter was consensual. DeSantis noted that he might be “innocent until proven guilty, but we just can’t have a party chair that is under that type of scrutiny,” per USA Today.
On Sunday, December 17, the Florida GOP’s executive board held an emergency meeting and voted to censure Ziegler, stripping his authority and all but eliminating his salary. Additionally, the board plans to meet again in January, after the holidays, to vote to remove him formally.
It’s not just Zeigler facing calls for resignation, either. Earlier this month, the Sarasota County School Board wanted his wife, Bridget, to step down. The members voted on a non-binding resolution, 4-1, in favor of her resignation. She has refused, calling the move “toothless.” The board can’t remove her even though it wants to, as only DeSantis has the power to do so.
As of the time of writing, the investigation into Ziegler is ongoing and he has not been charged with any crime.
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