Florida GOP leaders move forward with special meeting on Christian Ziegler’s fate
Evan Power, Christian Ziegler.

Power Ziegler
But multiple sources in the party say there's no mechanism right now to remove Ziegler against his will.

Three-quarters of the Republican Party of Florida’s Executive Committee support holding a special meeting on Chair Christian Ziegler’s future.

That means Ziegler must hold a special meeting in Orlando on Dec. 17, where members will discuss censuring the embattled party leader or even if rules allow for his expulsion from the Party.

Vice Chair Evan Power unveiled a resolution Monday night and quickly rallied support for the meeting. The move comes as Sarasota Police investigate Ziegler for rape.

In an email to Board members, Power said Ziegler, who has maintained his innocence, would not call a meeting himself, and said any matters could wait until a quarterly meeting in February. But Power said the Party can’t wait.

“I hope that we are able to move the Party forward in a positive manner as the 2024 Elections are the most important elections we face in my lifetime,” he said. “If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or give me a call or text.”

Power sought support from all of the executive committee’s 40 members.

Based on Power’s proposed resolution, the meeting will discuss possible disciplinary action on Ziegler, whether the Chair is unfit for office, and if his actions have hurt the “good name of the RPOF.”

Several sources say party rules do not set out any process for removing a Chair. Ziegler to date, has rebuffed any calls to step aside. He sent a blast email to party members claiming he had received encouraging calls from “Congressmen, state elected leaders, prominent social conservative leaders and county party leaders.”

But it appears even some who once supported Ziegler have soured as more details of the criminal investigation emerged.

Of note, while Ziegler has denied a rape charge leveled by a Sarasota woman, he admitted to police he went to the woman’s apartment and had sex with her on Oct. 2, according to documents already made public. Both Ziegler and his wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, admitted to engaging in a three-way sexual encounter with the accuser more than a year before the alleged incident.

Lee County Republican Chair Michael Thompson said he spoke to Ziegler the day news broke, and Ziegler said the accusations were made up. Then, the search warrant showed details about the tryst with the woman. Thompson said he felt deceived after making supportive comments in the press.

“I called him back and told him MAGA Nation was calling for him to resign,” Thompson said. “Then he got angry and started making threats at me. I told him, ‘You are the last person who needs to be making threats.’”

Ziegler could not be reached for comment about the upcoming meeting.

Power wants the Party to consider appointing a special investigative committee to look at Ziegler’s actions and recommend an appropriate response by the executive committee. He also wants members to discuss suspending Ziegler’s responsibilities and pay during any investigation and to potentially hold a vote of no confidence or to censure Ziegler.

Meanwhile, the list of Florida political leaders has started to grow dramatically. Gov. Ron DeSantis called for Ziegler’s removal shortly after news of the investigation became public.

Since then, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott has also called for Ziegler to quit, as have all members of the Florida Cabinet and leaders of the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature.

In addition to the serious nature of the criminal investigation itself, Republican leaders said it would be impossible for Ziegler to lead the Party during a presidential election year while his legal problems unfold.

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].


12 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 6, 2023 at 4:49 am

    Omg The Republican Party is going to try and hold an accused RAPER accountable? Omg!

      • rick whitaker

        December 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

        unsafe, well said

      • Paul Kaufman

        December 6, 2023 at 5:24 pm

        One of my former pastors used to say “the reason most people don’t want to be a christian is because they know one…” He must have been referring to people like the Zieglers and MAGA Mike Johnson.

        • rick whitaker

          December 6, 2023 at 9:29 pm

          paul, i know a whole lot of christians, and i don’t like or trust any of them. i am going to vote for biden, but his catholic background doesn’t set too well with me. i realize trump is not a christian, but he is their leader so i definitely don’t like or trust him.

    • EARL PITTS "Earl Weighs In" American

      December 6, 2023 at 6:25 am

      Good mornting America,
      This topic, just like any other topic is NOT NEWS …. well Not Until Earl Pitts American weighs in with his Sage Wisdom.
      EARL WEIGHS IN:
      Ziegler is still inocent of all charges until proven inocent or guilty in a court of law.
      BUT:
      Ziegler for the sake of the party and our Great Nation (Which is circleing the toilet bowel under Democratic Rule).
      Step The F _ c _ Down Son.
      EARL HAS SPOKEN,
      Earl Pitts American

      • rick whitaker

        December 6, 2023 at 10:04 am

        WARNING ⚠ TROLL COMMENT BY EARL SHITTS

  • My Take

    December 6, 2023 at 5:09 am

    The Zieglers — the GOPer Couple of the Year”
    Hear how they keep some “spice” in their marriage.

  • My Take

    December 6, 2023 at 6:04 am

    If La Ziegler had just showed up for her “appointment” none of these troubles would have ensùed.
    Let that be a lesson to today’s young people

  • ScienceBLVR

    December 6, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Now, when we hear Bridget is resigning from school board, that’s the story I want to hear. Of course once she’s out
    I will support her rights as part of the lesbian/bi-sexual community of sisters!!

  • Mr Bubba.

    December 6, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Bridget did not show up for todays Disney District committee meeting. The committee that DeSantis appointed the hypocrite to. Protests are planned for the next Sarasota school board meeting on the 12th.

Comments are closed.


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