Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for Republican Party of Florida Chair Christian Ziegler to resign. The move comes a day after news broke that Sarasota Police are investigating the party leader for rape.
DeSantis, a candidate for President, was asked by ABC News about whether Ziegler should step down. The Governor did not hesitate in saying yes.
“I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing given the gravity of those situations,” he said.
ABC News reporter Will McDuffie further quoted DeSantis calling the accusations “very serious,” though he reserved judgment on the validity of the accusation.
“I think he should step aside and think he should attend to that,” DeSantis said. “He’s innocent until proven guilty, but we just can’t have a party Chair that is under that type of scrutiny.”
A Sarasota Police report shows an investigation has been underway since Oct. 4, and that a woman accused Ziegler of a rape allegedly on Oct. 2.
A heavily redacted Sarasota Police report offers few concrete details. The report verifies an active criminal investigation, but enormous details were redacted as police stressed the investigation remains ongoing.
In Sarasota, multiple sources close to Ziegler have said the woman was in a long-term tryst with both Ziegler and his wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler.
Nothing released by police indicates any involvement of Bridget Ziegler in the incident or the investigation.
Christian Ziegler serves as the State Committeeman for the Republican Party of Sarasota and does consulting work for Republican candidates across the country.
He boasts close ties to both DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, both Florida politicians in contention for the Republican nomination for President.
It’s unclear how long a criminal investigation will take to unfold. Ziegler has turned over electronic devices as part of the investigation following the issuance of a search warrant.