Christian Ziegler, the chairman of the Florida Republican party, is facing mounting pressure to resign from his position amid a rape allegation and a censure motion from his own party. Governor Ron DeSantis, senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, Congressman Matt Gaetz, and other Republican officials have joined the chorus of voices calling for Christian to step down as the police probe the accusation.
According to police records, Christian is accused of sexually assaulting a woman who had previously consented to a threesome with him and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, the co-founder of Moms for Liberty, a conservative group that opposes mask mandates and critical race theory in schools.
The alleged incident occurred in October at the woman’s apartment, when Bridget Ziegler failed to show up for the planned encounter. The woman claims that Christian forced himself on her without her consent.
Christian denies the allegation and maintains that the sex was consensual. He has not been arrested or charged with any crime.
The scandal has also embroiled Bridget, who is an elected member of the Sarasota school board. She is not accused of any wrongdoing, but the board voted to request her resignation on Tuesday. She refused to comply.
The Zieglers have been vocal critics of LGBTQ+ rights, and their involvement with another woman has drawn ire and accusations of hypocrisy from their opponents.
Florida Republican Party divided over potential removal decision
On Sunday, the Florida Republican Party held an emergency meeting to address the situation. The party board passed a motion to censure Christian and demand his resignation, citing his conduct as unfit for the office. The motion was based on a document posted on X (formerly Twitter) by Michael Thomason, the chairman of the Lee County GOP.
“Christian Ziegler has engaged in conduct that renders him unfit for the office,” the motion read.
Christian attempted to defend himself during the meeting, but to no avail. Thomason tweeted, “Ziegler on soap box trying to defend himself, not working.”
The party’s executive committee will vote again in the future on whether to remove Christian from his post.