A report from the Florida Center for Government Accountability (FLCGA) alleges that the chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Christian Zeigler, is the subject of an investigation by the Sarasota Police Department for sexual battery.
The FLCGA reported that sources had told them a search warrant was executed on Ziegler’s cell phone after a woman filed a report against him alleging Ziegler raped her. Ziegler and his wife Bridget Ziegler, who co-founded the conservative activist group Moms For Liberty, are a powerful couple in Florida Republican politics.
The FLCGA reported that a heavily redacted police report was filed on Oct. 4 and that the incident happened in Sarasota. Sources told FLCGA that Ziegler and his wife had been involved in a “longstanding consensual three-way sexual relationship prior to the incident,” but that Christian Ziegler was on his own at the woman’s house when the incident happened.
Moms for Liberty, which was founded in 2021, opposes school curriculums that include materials teaching about LGBT rights, critical race theory, and discrimination. It was originally founded to campaign against mask and vaccine mandates for COVID-19 in schools.
Christian Ziegler was vice-chair of the Republican Party of Florida for years before being elected chair in February 2023.
Together, the Zieglers flexed their influence in Florida politics.
Last year, Christian Ziegler said he wouldn’t take sides in a Republican primary contest between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former President Donald Trump. DeSantis, however, has seen Bridget Ziegler and Moms For Liberty as a key ally in his campaign to root out “woke” influence in the state’s public school system.
“Bridget Ziegler, we should have her in every county in Florida,” DeSantis said in a campaign speech, calling to expand her approach to pressuring school board races.
According to the FLGCA report, the Sarasota City Attorney’s Office confirmed the existence of a police incident report for the investigation.
Robert Fournier, Sarasota’s city attorney, didn’t respond to questions about the incident report or confirm whether it existed.
According to sources who spoke to FLGCA, Ziegler is alleged to have secretly made videos of the sexual encounters between him, the woman, and his wife.
In response to the news, the Florida Democratic Party quickly put out a statement calling for Christian Ziegler to resign.
“What happens behind closed doors is Christian and Bridget’s personal business,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried. “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.”