Florida Republican Party ousts Christian Ziegler as chairman after rape allegation

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! - Florida GOP on Twitter

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Party of Florida ousted Chairman Christian Ziegler in a special vote on Monday as police investigate a rape accusation against him — a move that came a week before Gov. Ron DeSantis competes in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucus.

A majority of about 200 members approved the ouster in a voice vote during a closed-door meeting that Ziegler did not attend, according to Republican state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, who was there. He said no one spoke in favor of Ziegler. Evan Power, the vice chair of the state GOP, was chosen to replace Ziegler.

The party suspended Ziegler last month and demanded his resignation, saying he can’t effectively lead during a critical election year with the allegations, which Ziegler denies, swirling around him. DeSantis, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and other Republican leaders had called on Ziegler to step down, but he refused.

DeSantis is seeking the GOP nomination for president, but ahead of the Jan. 15 Iowa caucus he trails far behind former President Donald Trump, who also is a Floridian. Scott is running for reelection. Florida also will play a key role in determining control of the U.S. House.

This report initially appeared on the Associated Press Newswire.

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