While the investigation into a rape allegation against Florida Republican Party Chair Christian Ziegler is still ongoing, the GOP official and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, are facing political backlash, primarily over the hypocrisy at the root of revelations that they are in a threesome relationship with another woman.
If you don’t yet know the disturbing details of the case against Christian Ziegler and the salacious revelations about he and his wife’s consensual, longterm, three-way relationship with the woman accusing him of rape, I unpack some of it here, and my colleague Josh Marshall digs in further here and here.
The short version is that the outcome of the criminal investigation by the Sarasota police is still unclear and it’s not known whether Christian Ziegler will be charged with any crimes. Bridget Ziegler has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing. But both Zieglers have experienced swift political backlash over the allegation and his wife’s reputation as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “family values,” anti-LGBTQ crown jewel is on the line.
Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of the book-banning banshees Moms For Liberty, is close with DeSantis and played a key role in crafting Florida’s now-infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill. She recently resigned as the vice president of school board programs at the Leadership Institute, a group that helps recruit and teach right-wingers to run for public office.
DeSantis and Bridget Ziegler’s ties run deeper. The governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate personally endorsed her run for the Sarasota County school board, where she currently sits as a member. DeSantis also appointed her this spring to the state board that runs the special district that was previously managed by Disney World before DeSantis went after the company for being too “woke.”
Florida’s Sarasota County school board took steps to sever ties with Bridget Ziegler this week. It passed a non-binding resolution Monday night asking her to resign from the governing body. Bridget Ziegler has previously clashed with Democratic fellow board members and her colleagues were quick to call out her anti-LGBTQ hypocrisy as soon as reports of the allegation against her husband surfaced.
The resolution, which Bridget Ziegler called “toothless,” passed 4-1.
Meanwhile, the Florida Republican Party is also looking into how it can distance itself from her husband, the accused rapist, NBC reports. The party is holding an emergency meeting this weekend in Orlando to consider measures like cutting off Christian Ziegler’s salary and diminishing his role. For reasons that Josh Marshall gets into here, the party can’t take away his chairmanship at Sunday’s meeting.
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