Embattled Florida Republican Party Chair Christian Ziegler was suspended by the state party board last week following an emergency meeting on Sunday, December 18, the Associated Press reported.
In its emergency meeting, the party board voted to censure and suspend Ziegler while police in Sarasota investigate an allegation of rape made against the party chair by a woman who had been in a previous consensual relationship with both Zielger and his wife Bridget.
The board also joined other prominent Republicans in the state, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, to demand Ziegler resign.
In its censure motion, the Florida GOP said Ziegler’s conduct “renders him unfit for the office.”
According to Lee County GOP Chairman Michael Thomason, Ziegler tried to defend himself during the emergency meeting but the board quickly voted to suspend him.
The state GOP’s executive committee is planning to hold a vote on removing Ziegler soon.
The Sarasota Police Department is currently investigating an allegation that Ziegler raped a woman in her apartment in October.
According to police documents, Ziegler, his wife Bridget, and the unnamed complainant had planned a threesome but Bridget was unable to make it. Instead of canceling the liaison, Christian Ziegler showed up at the woman’s apartment on his own where he raped her.
Ziegler, who has not yet been formally charged, continues to maintain his innocence, insisting that the encounter had been consensual.
With its call for Ziegler’s resignation, the Florida GOP joins Governor Ron DeSantis, Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and the Republican leaders of the Florida state House and Senate to demand Ziegler step down.
Bridget Ziegler, while not being accused of any crime, has also faced blowback over the allegation against her husband.
Mrs. Ziegler, a co-founder of the conservative women’s group Mom’s for Liberty, is an elected member of the Sarasota School Board. In mid-December, the board voted to ask her to step down from her position. However, Bridget Ziegler has refused.