Florida Republican leader Christian Ziegler removed from role over rape allegations

GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler, pictured.

Florida Republican Christian Ziegler has been removed as the state party chairman, following allegations of rape.

State Republicans voted on Monday (8 January) to oust the him after he was accused of raping a woman with whom he and his wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, had a prior consensual relationship.

Police are currently investigating the allegations which Ziegler vehemently denies. He says the encounter was also consensual.

Ziegler previously refused to resign and does not, at time of reporting, face any charges.

The decision was “almost unanimous” and was “the absolute right thing to do”, sources attending the vote told NBC News.

“I want to reiterate that we are spending a lot of time and energy on this, on this meeting, instead of focusing on the things we need to focus on, and that’s simply because Christian Ziegler did not do the right thing and resign,” they added.

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According to police documents, and as reported by the BBC, Ziegler and his wife had allegedly planned a threesome on the day of the reported sexual assault, but Bridget Ziegler was unable to attend.

Her husband is alleged to have arrived alone and assaulted the woman.

Bridget Ziegler has been urged to resign from her position on the Sarasota County school board in the wake of the accusations.

She has resisted attempts to remove her but remains under pressure to step down.

During a school board meeting in December, where a resolution urging her to resign was debated, activist Zander Moricz said: “Bridget Ziegler, you do not deserve to be on the Sarasota County school board.

“You do not deserve to be removed from it for having a threesome, you deserve to be fired from your job because you are terrible at your job, not because you had sex with a woman.”

GLAAD president and chief executive, Sarah Kate Ellis, said in a statement that Christian Ziegler deserved to be removed not only because of the allegations, but for his “appalling” anti-LGBTQ+ track record.

“Ziegler and his wife Bridget… used their power and platforms to unleash discriminatory policies and harmful rhetoric, leading [to] an epidemic of shameful book bans and school censorship policies,” Ellis claimed.