Vern Buchanan calls for Christian Ziegler to resign as Florida GOP Chair
Buchanan in "The Roadmap"

Vern Buchanan
Some of Ziegler's first work in politics was on Buchanan's House campaign and later as a staffer on the Hill.

The official who gave Christian Ziegler his start in politics now wants him to resign.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, is calling for Ziegler to step down as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. The move comes days before the party’s executive committee is expected to launch a process to sanction Ziegler.

“Christian should voluntarily step down before the executive committee takes action against him,” Buchanan said. “His position as party leader is no longer tenable given what has transpired.”

Ziegler remains under active criminal investigation for rape. Ziegler has admitted to a sexual encounter with a Sarasota woman leveling the accusation, but said the sex was consensual. A video recently obtained by police taken on Ziegler’s cell phone reportedly contradicts part of the woman’s account, but questions about consent remain, including uncertainty about whether she knew she was being filmed.

Through the course of the investigation, both Ziegler and his wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, have admitted to police they participated in a three-way sexual encounter with the woman more than a year prior to the rape allegation. That has thrust the Sarasota power couple, known for championing conservative culture war issues, into national headlines.

A source close to Buchanan says the political mentor to Ziegler held off on making comments about the scandal. “He intentionally gave Ziegler a long runway but ultimately wanted him to do what is best for his family and party,” the source told Florida Politics.

Buchanan follows a number of state political leaders demanding Ziegler’s resignation, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, the entire Florida Cabinet and leaders of the Legislature.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican who as Governor first appointed Bridget Ziegler to the School Board, also has called for Christian Ziegler to step down.

Buchanan, Republican Co-Chair of the Florida congressional delegation, is the first U.S. House Republican to call for Ziegler’s resignation.

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].

One comment

  • My Take

    December 15, 2023 at 12:19 am

    They need an investigation:
    Who had what in whom where?
    À tough police artist could illustrate it.

Comments are closed.


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