Florida Republican Leaders Take Action Against Chairman Amid Rape Allegations

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The Republican Party of Florida made a decisive move on Sunday during an emergency meeting in Orlando, voting to effectively strip Christian Ziegler.

The current chairman under criminal investigation for alleged sexual assault, of most of his power within the party.

The Florida GOP’s state executive committee met to discuss Ziegler’s allegations of rape while the Sarasota police department was still investigating the matter. Requests for comment from Ziegler, who has denied any misconduct and has not yet been charged formally, went unanswered.

During the meeting, party leaders enacted measures to reduce Ziegler’s salary to a symbolic $1 and transferred the majority of his chairmanship authority to the current vice chair, Evan Power. 

While the party could not officially oust Ziegler during the Sunday gathering, plans are in place for a formal removal next month.

Ziegler should resign willingly, Evan Power said, stressing the party’s determination to hold him responsible. “Today the Republican Party of Florida took a step to hold our chairman accountable for his action,” Power told reporters. “We will follow through in removing him from power.”

Florida Republicans’ Criticism of Ziegler’s Stance

florida-republican-leaders-take-action-against-chairman-amid-rape-allegations
The Republican Party of Florida made a decisive move on Sunday during an emergency meeting in Orlando, voting to effectively strip Christian Ziegler.

Numerous prominent Florida Republicans, including Governor Ron DeSantis, have called for Ziegler’s resignation, a move he has resisted. Ziegler, seeking counsel from former Trump administration figures Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski, has remained adamant about fighting to retain his position.

The closed-door meeting in Orlando witnessed Ziegler’s plea to maintain his role, arguing that he could continue driving party fundraising efforts. 

However, some attendees found his stance insensitive, with Michael Thompson, chair of the Republican Party of Lee County, characterizing Ziegler’s remarks as egotistical. The ongoing investigation by the Sarasota police revolves around allegations that Ziegler raped a woman in her apartment in early October. 

Although Ziegler and his wife, Bridget, had planned a consensual encounter with the accuser, the situation escalated when the woman attempted to cancel upon learning Bridget would not be present. Allegedly, Ziegler proceeded to the woman’s apartment and committed the assault.

While Bridget Ziegler faces no accusations of wrongdoing, she has resigned from her position at the Liberty Institute and faced a resolution from the Sarasota County School Board, urging her to step down from her role on the board. 

The details provided in an affidavit supporting a search request are still under examination, and Florida authorities have neither confirmed nor denied them.

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