March 4, 2024

Politics

The celebration suspended Christian Ziegler final month and demanded his resignation, saying he cannot successfully lead throughout a vital election 12 months with the allegations, which Ziegler denies, swirling round him.

Republican Get together of Florida Chairman Christian Ziegler addresses attendees on the Republican Get together of Florida Freedom Summit, Nov. 4, 2023, in Kissimmee, Fla. AP Picture/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Get together of Florida is scheduled to carry a particular assembly Monday to vote on eradicating Chairman Christian Ziegler and choose a brand new chief as police examine a rape accusation in opposition to him, a vote that comes the week earlier than Gov. Ron DeSantis competes in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucus.

The celebration suspended Ziegler final month and demanded his resignation, saying he can’t successfully lead throughout a vital election 12 months with the allegations, which Ziegler denies, swirling round him. Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and different Republican leaders have known as on Ziegler to step down, however he has refused.

DeSantis is searching for the GOP nomination for president, however forward of the Jan. 15 Iowa caucus he trails far behind former President Donald Trump, who is also a Floridian. Scott is operating for re-election. Florida additionally will play a key function in figuring out management of the U.S. Home.

“We’ve to maneuver previous this and need to deal with 2024. Florida’s one of the vital essential states for the Republicans and now we have to proceed to deliver dwelling victories, particularly for Rick Scott and the highest of the ticket with Trump as our nominee, ultimately,” mentioned state Sen. Joe Gruters, who preceded Ziegler as celebration chair.

The assembly is predicted to be held behind closed doorways at a Tallahassee convention middle.

Past the rape accusation, there may be one other troublesome aspect for the celebration. Underneath DeSantis, Florida has stripped rights away from LGBTQ+ Floridians and banned instruction on gender id and sexual orientation in faculties.

Ziegler and his spouse, Mothers for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, have admitted to police that they beforehand had a consensual sexual relationship with Christian Ziegler’s accuser.

The Sarasota Police Division is investigating the girl’s accusation that Ziegler raped her at her condo in October. Police paperwork say the Zieglers and the girl had deliberate a sexual threesome that day, however Bridget Ziegler was unable to attend. The accuser says Christian Ziegler arrived anyway and assaulted her.

Christian Ziegler has not been charged with against the law and says he’s harmless, contending the encounter was consensual.

Bridget Ziegler, an elected member of the Sarasota College Board, will not be accused of any crime. The board voted to ask her to resign final month however she refused.

The couple have been outspoken opponents of LGBTQ+ rights and their relationship with one other girl has sparked criticism and accusations of hypocrisy.