Karen Rose calls for Bridget Ziegler to resign from School Board
Karen Rose, image via Facebook

Karen Rose
Rose intends to bring a resolution for the entire School Board to take up next meeting.

Sarasota County School Board member Karen Rose says colleague Bridget Ziegler must resign.

“Our community has been rocked by the disturbing revelations surrounding my fellow School Board member Bridget Ziegler and the criminal allegations against her husband, Christian Ziegler. I am shocked and deeply saddened by the conduct and deplore the salacious news coverage. But my first responsibility is to the Sarasota County School District,” Rose said.

“So for the good of our students, teachers, staff and community, I will be calling on Mrs. Ziegler to step down from her position on the School Board. I am asking our Superintendent to place this item on the agenda for our next meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 12, where I will make a motion that the Board approve a resolution asking Mrs. Ziegler to step down.”

She’s the second member to call for Ziegler’s resignation, after Tom Edwards.

“With all the obvious hypocrisy and integrity issues at hand, as long as she sits there, it’s a distraction,” said Edwards, the lone Democrat on the county School Board.

But unlike Edwards, Rose has long been politically aligned with Ziegler. Both are Republicans who campaigned with support of the local party, and both voted together on key issues, including parting ways with former Superintendent Brennan Asplen.

She acknowledged the longtime alignment in her statement.

“I personally care about Bridget and her family and deeply regret the necessity for this course of action, but given the intense media scrutiny locally and nationally, her continued presence on the Board would cause irreparably harmful distractions to our critical mission,” Rose said.

Rose doesn’t want the district disrupted by the chaos surrounding a sex scandal involving Ziegler and her husband, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Christian Ziegler.

The Sarasota Police Department is actively investigating Christian Ziegler for rape. Documents show he admitted to a sexual encounter with the accuser, but said it was consensual.

Bridget Ziegler isn’t accused of a crime, but documents show she admitted to police that the couple and the woman in question had a three-way sexual experience together more than a year prior. Text messages imply the Zieglers planned another threesome with the woman. But when Bridget Ziegler could not attend as planned, the woman told Christian Ziegler she was not interested. The accuser said Ziegler came to her apartment anyway and forced her to have sex with him.

Rose’s resolution would be nonbinding, but would force all members to go on record whether they want Ziegler to remain on the Board or not.

The allegations have thrust the Florida political world into flux. Christian Ziegler has resisted calls for his resignation as state party Chair, including from Gov. Ron DeSantis, an ally of the Zieglers. Other leaders from the party are now taking steps to likely suspend or expel him.

But Bridget Ziegler, despite facing no accusations of criminal activity, has seen her own political influence depreciate as a result of the scandal.

Ziegler until recently served as the national director of School Board Programs for the Leadership Institute. The conservative think tank that had planned to establish permanent training programs in Sarasota to be run by Ziegler. But Florida’s Voice reported Ziegler resigned from the board Wednesday. While her name appeared on the staff listings for the organization early in the day, she no longer appeared on the group’s website by the close of business.

The co-founder of Moms For Liberty, the parental rights organization this week issued a statement distancing itself from the Zieglers.

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].


5 comments

  • Julia

    December 6, 2023 at 5:35 pm

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  • Mother Superior Slapshot, Bishop Hedman Academy

    December 6, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    Oh goodness, how in the world would the Sarasota County School Board, and its now ready-to-star member Karen Rose, continue their fight against “woke,” and ban books, and target children who are different in a way they don’t like, if they are saddled with a woman whose husband has been accused of a crime? Though the woman has been accused of no crime, she has confessed to something else, and you say she must go. Oh brave Karen, are you ready to take up the sword that Bridget has forsaken for the sheath?
    Apparently you are. Hope your closet is clean, bless your heart.

  • John Rose

    December 12, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    I call for Karen Rose to resign. So there!

  • My Take

    December 16, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    Don’t resign, Bridget! Stiçk in theŕe.
    Keep them in turmoil.Say, “If they don’t hàve piçtures, it didn’t happen ”
    Hint at what pictures would show!!
    “A woman knows what a woman wants!”
    Dtive them crazy.

Comments are closed.


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