Bridget Ziegler rebuffs Sarasota School Board demand for resignation
Bridget Ziegler is the point person for conservative strategies for winning School Board races.

During a Board meeting, critics of both Zieglers criticized the couple extensively.

Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler signaled she has no plans to resign her seat amid a sex scandal.

She cast a lone dissenting vote against a School Board resolution asking for her to step down voluntarily.

“This does not have any teeth,” she said of the board position.

Sarasota County School Board Chair Karen Rose proposed a resolution last week asking her longtime political ally to resign voluntarily. She said revelations about Ziegler’s personal life created an insurmountable challenge to running the district.

As Sarasota Police continue to investigate Ziegler’s husband, Republican Party of Florida Chair Christian Ziegler, for rape, scrutiny of the couple’s sex life grabbed national attention.

“I’ve never had this many cameras on me or in this board room or filming the process this board goes through,” Rose said.

A woman told police Christian Ziegler raped her in a Sarasota apartment on Oct. 2. Christian Ziegler maintains the encounter was consensual. Both Christian and Bridget Ziegler admitted to police they had a sexual tryst with the woman more than a year before the accusation, according to police documents already made public.

While video of the encounter taken on Christian Ziegler’s phone reportedly contradicts portions of the accuser’s account, critics from across the political spectrum say the Zieglers have already admitted to rank hypocrisy and need to step down from all partisan and public positions.

When Ziegler failed to resign immediately after the board’s resolution passed, School Board member Tom Edwards called for the board to send a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis seeking Ziegler’s suspension. But board members did not want to pursue that path.

“It’ll be up to Mrs. Ziegler on whether or not she resigns or she doesn’t resign,” said School Board member Tim Enos.

“We have all failed in our lives in a variety of different things.”

Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of the controversial Moms For Liberty, advanced many policies criticized as anti-LGBTQ. That includes a parental rights bill maligned as the “don’t say gay” law, which forbids classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity. Bridget Ziegler stood beside Gov. Ron DeSantis at a signing ceremony for that legislation.

“Then we learn she is participating in a same-sex relationship of her own accord,” said Daniel Kuether, Sarasota County Democratic Party Chair.

The party held a news conference before the meeting, calling for Ziegler’s resignation.

Meanwhile, Republicans are making moves to drive Christian Ziegler from the party regardless of whether he avoids a criminal charge.

The Republican Party of Sarasota called for Christian Ziegler to step down as state chair and as the county’s state committeeman.

The executive committee for the Republican Party of Florida will meet on Dec. 17 in Orlando to discuss sanctions against Ziegler, up to his potential expulsion.

However, Bridget Ziegler noted not every entity has hungered for her resignation. She sits on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board, a Governor-appointed board governing the Walt Disney Resort property.

“I am disappointed,” Bridget Ziegler said. “As people may know, I serve on another public board, and this issue did not come up.”

Ziegler attended the most recent tourism oversight board remotely, and while the public called for her resignation, district officials did not mention the scandal.

Bridget Ziegler, a former Democrat, became active in Republican politics after marrying Christian Ziegler. Former Gov. Rick Scott appointed her to the Sarasota County School Board in 2014, and she soon won the seat outright. She won re-election in 2018 and 2022 when Sarasota County voters installed a conservative majority as she became the senior-most member of the board.

During a Board meeting, critics of both Zieglers criticized the couple extensively.

“I know that you would do this all over again, at the expense of our children and our community,” said Paulina Testerman. “So today, Mrs. Ziegler, I celebrate with reckless abandon the demise of politicians like you, who use our children as a steppingstone in their quest for power and political relevance.”

Nevertheless, some supporters of Bridget Ziegler did speak on her behalf.

“I’m proud of Bridget Ziegler turning up tonight. That showed a hell of a lot of guts,” said former congressional candidate Martin Hyde. “Whatever you think the truth is, she’s one person against the whole room. And shame on you, anybody here, that comes and talks about a mother of three children.”

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].


  • PeterH

    December 12, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Bridget Ziegler is a model Republican grifter!

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!
    Vote all Republicans out of office!

    • Impeach Biden

      December 12, 2023 at 8:59 pm

      Susanna Gibson and her husband say hi from Virginia.

  • Impeach Biden

    December 12, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    By the way if the allegations about Christian prove to be true, he and his wife are probably headed for Only Fans. They can possibly join the Gibson’s over there. Ya see grifters are on both sides. Now just think if Only Fans was around when Willie and Kamala were a thing.

    • My Take

      December 12, 2023 at 9:34 pm

      Looķ up what Nancy Davis Reagan was known as ” Best in Hollywood” for.
      It showed up in the news a few weeks ago for some reason.

  • My Take

    December 13, 2023 at 12:27 am

    Imagine the ànatomical twittering and Twittering of the Jr High and Nigh School kids there.
    All “X” rated.
    “She did WHAT ?!”

  • Discovered

    December 13, 2023 at 8:16 am

    Just another example of these Christian zealots that want to tell us what to do , wear , act , and say while they secretly live their lives of lies. Power, greed and white entitlement is disgusting . The audacity of terrorists like “moms for liberty” trying to tell schools how to educate anyone is appalling

  • Al Franken

    December 13, 2023 at 9:13 am

    What a craven, shameless play by the Zieglers and the GOP.

  • Joe

    December 13, 2023 at 11:37 am

    The Zieglers are and have always been disgusting people and unfit for any public office.

  • My Take

    December 14, 2023 at 2:53 am

    This story needs livening up.
    Q to the rescue!
    QAnon says that numbeŕ three, thè “other woman,” tips the scales at 300 lb and is covered in crude prison tattoos.
    Well, “to èach his (Newspeak –> ‘their’) own.”
    And Q would never lie.

  • Dont Say FLA

    December 14, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    The Zeiglers did what they did so it would be reported upon and then they’d have the ammo they wanted for why to ban reading and discussing news ^ current events in schools.

Comments are closed.


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