CFTOD Board Member Bridget Ziegler Skips District Meeting After Husband Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman They Previously Had Threesome With

Shannen Ace

CFTOD Board Member Bridget Ziegler Skips District Meeting After Husband Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman They Previously Had Threesome With

Moms for Liberty co-founder and Governor DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) Board of Supervisors member Bridget Ziegler was not present at Wednesday’s meeting amid sexual assault allegations against her husband, Florida Republican Party Chair Christian Ziegler.

christian and bridget ziegler
Christian and Bridget Ziegler at Moms for Liberty National Summit in Tampa, Fla., on July 15, 2022 Source: Mike Lang / Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bridget Ziegler is a notable member of the CFTOD Board as she helped draft the original Parental Rights in Education bill, a.k.a. the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney’s denouncement of the bill, now law, is what led Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to take over the former Reedy Creek Improvement District and appoint his own board. Ziegler has been a CFTOD Board member since its creation in February 2023. As a Moms for Liberty co-founder and board member, Ziegler and her husband have both spoken at the organization’s events. Moms for Liberty is known as an anti-LGBTQIA+ organization.

Amid the recent allegations against her husband, Ziegler admitted to police to having a threesome with him and another woman about a year ago. The woman, who has known the couple for 20 years, has accused Christian Ziegler of assaulting her in a separate incident on October 2.

The following paragraph contains details of the sexual assault allegations that some might find upsetting or triggering.

According to a police affidavit, Christian Ziegler reached out to the woman on October 2, proposing another threesome. When the woman learned Bridget wouldn’t actually be involved, she backed out of the plans and said she “was mostly in it for Bridget.” Christian arrived at the woman’s apartment five minutes later, surveillance video shows. He “bent the victim over the ‘bar stool’ and had sex with her.” The victim then immediately called her sister. Two days later, a friend reported the incident to the police. The woman told her story to police officers and was then taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. There, doctors completed a rape kit. (via Mother Jones)

Central Florida Tourism Oversight District logo

The police officially opened an investigation on October 27. The affidavit also includes text messages between the woman and Ziegler in which she told him she was “not okay with what happened the other day between us” and that she was “terrified” of him. Ziegler said he hadn’t meant to scare her and asked if she needed money.

The Florida GOP has called for Christian Ziegler to step down from his position as Florida Republican Party Chair. Governor DeSantis said during a press conference last Thursday, “I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing given the gravity of those situations, and so I think that he should step aside.” (via Miami Herald)

State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner also called for Ziegler to resign. (via Axios) In a statement, Senator Rick Scott wrote, “I don’t see how Christian can continue to successfully act as Chairman while this cloud hovers over him.”

bridget ziegler
Joshua Lott / The Washington Post via Getty

Moms for Liberty, however, has defended Ziegler. In a since-deleted post on X, they said the accusations were “another attempt today to ruin the reputation of a strong woman fighting for America,” referring to Bridget.

Following the defense of the Zieglers from Moms for Liberty leadership, a Pennsylvania chapter headed by Clarissa Paige has split from the organization. Paige was disturbed by the X post and said, “It technically should have never been a Moms for Liberty issue, but by taking that stance Thursday night, it became their fight, and it shouldn’t have.” (via NBC News)

After deleting the X post, Moms for Liberty co-founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich said in a statement on Tuesday, “We have been truly shaken to read of the serious, criminal allegations against Christian Ziegler. We believe any allegation of sexual assault should be taken seriously and fully investigated.” They noted that Bridget Ziegler had technically left the group a month after its January 2021 launch. They also added regarding Paige’s Pennsylvania chapter that they “appreciate this chapter’s hard work and we hope they continue the fight for parental rights.”

Christian Ziegler has denied the accusations, saying he has no plans to resign. In an email to supporters, he wrote, “We have a country to save and I am not going to let false allegations of a crime put that mission on the bench as I wait for this process to wrap up.”

The Florida GOP is planning a special meeting to discuss the situation and Ziegler’s position. It is currently proposed for December 17 although Ziegler suggested they wait until the regularly scheduled meeting in February.

Having begun with the CFTOD Board in February 2023, Bridget Ziegler’s term is scheduled to be up on February 26, 2025. The December 6 board meeting that she skipped was dedicated to “Discussion of Historical Issues Involving The Operation And Governance Of The District.”

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