The Florida Republican Party voted on Monday to elect Evan Power as the party’s new chairman after members overwhelming to remove Christian Ziegler from the position following a police investigation into a rape allegation.
Power, who was the party’s vice chairman, filled in for Ziegler after party members voted last month to strip him of his powers and reduce his salary to $1.
“We have to build that trust back long-term,” Power said. “I think we have to do is go to our larger donors right now to ask for their help and assistance. And we can build that trust back because we can prove we are bigger than one person. We moved on as fast and as efficiently as we could. And now we are here in a new chapter and [with] a new chairman.”
Highlighting the successes of the Florida GOP under Governor Ron DeSantis, Power said that Republicans have experienced record turnout and have flipped seats all the way down to the school board-level.
“Congratulations to our new Chairman, @EvanPower,” the Florida GOP said in a statement. “Under his strong leadership, we will Keep Florida RED, deliver Florida’s 30 electoral votes to the GOP presidential candidate, and elect Republicans up and down the ballot. Let’s get to work!”
Congratulations to our new Chairman, @EvanPower. Under his strong leadership, we will Keep Florida RED, deliver Florida’s 30 electoral votes to the GOP presidential candidate, and elect Republicans up and down the ballot. Let’s get to work! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/DqceF2gNxa
— Florida GOP (@FloridaGOP) January 8, 2024
In an emergency vote on Monday, members voted 199-3 to oust Ziegler which comes after DeSantis and other top Florida Republican officials had called on him to resign.
Police in Florida are also investigating whether Ziegler recorded the alleged incident, which could constitute video voyeurism, a third-degree felony in Florida. Zeigler, who has not been charged, and his attorney allegedly showed the video to law enforcement with the belief that it proved that the interaction was consensual.
Attorney Bryant Camareno, who is not involved in the case, told local media that showing the video to law enforcement could be proof of a different crime.
“I think number one, it may show that there was consent to have sex,” he said. “Number two, it may show that she knew that she was being recorded, but number three, if he sent it to her with the intent of harassment then that may be another crime which is cyberstalking.”
Ziegler and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, reportedly admitted to police that they previously had a consensual sexual relationship with the woman who made the rape accusation.
The alleged incident occurred on October 2, 2023, when the accuser, Christian Ziegler, and Bridget Ziegler allegedly agreed to have “a sexual encounter,” according to police documents.
When the accuser learned that Bridget Ziegler would not attend, she allegedly changed her mind and cancelled the encounter with Christian Ziegler.
“On 10/02/23, the victim opened her apartment door to walk her dog and Christian was standing outside in the hallway,” the police search warrant says. “Christian entered the apartment, bent the victim over the bar stool and” raped her.