Christian Ziegler throws hat into race to lead Florida GOP
Christian Ziegler. Image via Facebook

Christian Ziegler
Will he follow a fellow Sarasotan to the state chairmanship?

Former Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler announced his bid to chair the Republican Party of Florida.

After four years serving as Vice Chair, Ziegler made the announcement after it was clear close ally Joe Gruters would not seek another term.

“I love the party,” Ziegler said. “Whatever I can do to help the party grow, I am going to focus on that.”

Ziegler’s announcement, made first to those in attendance at a quarterly meeting for the party, follows one from Leon County Republican Chair Evan Power, who announced his own candidacy for state chair in November. With county party elections unfolding across the state, it’s likely at least one more candidate will throw their name in the hat.

Should Ziegler win the state chairmanship, it will mean the gavel moves from one Sarasota County political leader, Gruters, to another.

Ziegler held political office the last four years after winning a seat on the Sarasota County Commission, but he did not seek re-election this year. His wife, Bridget Ziegler, won re-election to the Sarasota County School Board and has been one of the most high-profile board members in the state.

A strident conservative, Ziegler hopes to pull together support from traditional party voices and an increasingly energetic right wing. He notably has connections to campaigns for former President Donald Trump, especially through his digital marketing work as founder of Microtargeted Media, and to Gov. Ron DeSantis, having introduced the Governor at a pre-election rally in Sarasota days before the Midterms.

As Vice Chair, Ziegler traveled the state campaigning in the 2020 Presidential Election and during the 2022 General Election, where DeSantis won a second term by 19 percentage points in a statewide red wave. Now he hopes to build on successes.

“The state officially flipped red,” he said. “I’ve never seen the energy in the party as high as it is right now, and I’ve never seen the party as unified as it is right now. I want to continue that.”

This marks a second run for the chair position for Ziegler, who unsuccessfully challenged then-state chair Blaise Ingoglia in 2017. He considered a run in 2018 but stepped aside when Gruters jumped into the race with support from DeSantis. He instead ended up winning the vice chair position.

Before that, he served as Chair of State Committeemen and Committeewomen, and still serves as Sarasota County’s state committeeman.

“It’s tough to find anyone more conservative than I am,” he said. “I’m passionate about that, and about whatever we can do to help conservative values and help our party win.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • eva

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  • Smith

    December 8, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    Christian Ziegler???

    This guy was arrested in 1998 for beating a prostitute. C’mon GOP. Do better. And then there was those drunk driving cases too. SMH.

Comments are closed.


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