SARASOTA, Fla. – The chairman for the Republican Party of Sarasota County has joined the list of those now calling for Florida’s GOP Chair Christian Ziegler to step down. It comes after news surfaced of a criminal investigation against Ziegler after a woman accused him of rape.
Jack Brill, the Republican Party of Sarasota County chair, released the following statement:
“Given the increasing amount of evidence coming out on the allegations against Christian Ziegler, the Republican Party of Sarasota County believes that what is best for Sarasota County and Florida in this critical election cycle, is for Christian to step down as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, State Committeeman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County and a member of our Executive Committee.
We want to see Christian given full due process of law in a timely fashion, but the moral failings outside of the criminal allegations require us to remind all of our community leaders that they are held to a higher standard.”
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As officials across the state call for Ziegler to step down, individuals are also calling on Bridget Ziegler to resign from her position on the Sarasota County School Board. Bridget Ziegler’s time with the board has focused on protecting and promoting parental rights.
“We need to ensure parents are involved and require it, especially when we go into this discussion. These are young, impressionable, developing minds,” she told FOX 13 before a school board meeting in 2018.
Nearly a week after an allegation of sexual assault surfaced against her husband, a fellow school board member is now calling for Bridget to step down.
“As long as Mrs. Ziegler sits on the board, she will be a distraction,” said Tom Edwards.
READ: Christian Ziegler remains Florida GOP chair as investigation into rape allegation continues
Edwards said Bridget has focused on politics over students.
“I want to say that the hypocrisy and the lack of integrity around public policy that this woman has demonstrated along with her husband and, frankly, the legislature passing these bills. I think people really need to understand this was to create a mistrust around public education so the bill HB1 would advance,” he said.
Bridget is not under criminal investigation, but a search warrant revealed the victim told the Sarasota Police Department she arranged to have sex with both Ziegler’s in early October. The victim said, however, that Christian showed up alone, over the woman’s objection.
MORE: Florida GOP chairman denies rape allegations, does not plan to step down
According to documents, Bridget Ziegler admitted to officers they had a similar encounter a year ago.
“This is really just the straw that broke the camel’s back. There has been an ongoing basis. She has stroked the culture wars. With her sitting on the school board, the focus is on everything, but the education of our children,” said Lisa Schurr, the co-founder of Support Our Schools.
“Support Our Schools” is among the groups calling for her resignation.
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“You can’t vilify and demonize the LGBTQ population and then turn around and engage in those activities. Think about how many LBGTQ students, parents, citizens have been affected by the things she has done,” said Schurr.
Bridget Ziegler is also a co-founder of Mom’s For Liberty. She was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to sit on the newly created tourism district that governs the Walt Disney World area where the matter came up during public comments Wednesday morning.
“The rank hypocrisy of attacking others for what she personally practices, that should disqualify her for a position of public trust,” said Celebration resident Debra McDonald.