Christian Ziegler, the chair of the Florida Republican Party, is under investigation by the Sarasota Police Department, confirmed by his lawyer, Derek Byrd.
Byrd didn’t reveal the specific allegations. However, when CBS News asked about them, the Sarasota Police Department shared a report with a lot of details hidden. This report mentioned a rape and sexual battery claim from Oct. 2 in Sarasota.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, on Thursday night, said Ziegler should quit as the state party leader.
“I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing, given the gravity of those situations,” DeSantis told reporters in Alpharetta, Georgia, after his debate on TV with California Governor Gavin Newsom. “And so I think that he should, I think he should step aside.”
“He’s innocent ’til proven guilty, but we just can’t have a party chair that is under that type of scrutiny,” DeSantis added.
The Florida Trident, a group that keeps an eye on government actions, shared that a woman told Sarasota Police about her, Christian, and Bridget Ziegler being in a three-year relationship together. The Trident, using info from those close to the case, said that the police are looking into something that happened when Christian Ziegler and the woman were by themselves at her house.
Bridget Ziegler helped start Moms for Liberty, a group that’s really into parents’ rights and wants to get right-leaning people on school boards. This group doesn’t want schools to talk about race or LGBTQ stuff and has asked for books on gender or sexuality to be taken out of school libraries.
Byrd, Christian Ziegler’s lawyer, said Ziegler has helped the Sarasota Police with everything they’ve asked for. He also believes that once the investigation is done, Ziegler won’t be charged with anything and will be cleared of all claims.
The Florida Democratic Party is asking Christian Ziegler to quit his job as the head of the state GOP.
“Christian Ziegler can’t possibly continue to lead the Florida GOP under these conditions,” said Nikki Fried, the leader of the Florida Democratic Party. “Given the severity of the criminal allegations, I’m calling for his immediate resignation.”
“As for the more salacious allegations — what happens behind closed doors is Christian and Bridget’s personal business,” Fried added. “That being said, I do find it interesting that two people who are so obsessed with banning books about gay penguins might be engaged in a non-traditional sexual relationship.”
Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody, who’s a Republican, was asked about Ziegler’s case in Alpharetta, Georgia, before a big debate. Moody said she hadn’t seen all the details, so she couldn’t say anything about it.