Florida GOP Chair Ousted Amid Rape Investigation Days After Top Michigan Republican Removed for Financial Mismanagement

Two state Republican parties in key presidential battlegrounds – Florida and Michigan – removed their leaders in recent days.


Two state Republican parties in key presidential battlegrounds – Florida and Michigan – removed their leaders in recent days after both chairs refused to resign despite widely-publicized scandals that have distracted from the parties’ efforts ahead of 2024.

  • Christian Ziegler, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was removed from his position on Monday and replaced with Vice Chair Evan Power amid an ongoing sexual assault investigation by local police.
  • Ziegler has been accused of rape by a woman that he and his wife had previously been in a three-way sexual relationship.
  • Ziegler has not been charged in the investigation, but the majority of Florida Republican committee members voted to remove him and not a single person spoke up in his favor.
  • GOP Sen. Blaise Ingoglia told the AP the negative headlines and allegations were preventing the Florida GOP from “focusing on the thing we need to focus on and that’s simply because Christian Ziegler did not do the right thing and resign.”
  • In Michigan, the Republican state committee voted to remove state party chair Kristina Karamo by a margin of 88% to 12%. Karamo’s implosion is the latest blow for the Michigan Republican Party after GOP candidates were defeated up and down the ballot in 2022.
  • Karamo, a community college instructor and prominent purveyor of 2020 election conspiracy theories who believes the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a “false flag operation,” parlayed her 14-point defeat in the 2022 secretary of state election to secure the state party chair position in 2023.
  • Karamo’s year-long tenure has been plagued by infighting and hallmarked by debt – the Michigan GOP is $500,000 in the hole going into a presidential year where the Wolverine State is expected to be a key presidential battleground.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times reported the “mutiny” against Karamo gained steam in September after she bungled the state party’s key fundraising event. Rather than bring the party much-needed funds, the fundraiser somehow left the state GOP even further in debt after Karamo authorized taking out a $110,000 loan to pay the keynote speaker, actor Jim Caviezel. 
  • Ziegler’s wife has refused to step down from her post on the Sarasota County School Board, the Daily Beast reported. However, she was fired from the Leadership Institute, a conservative activist training program, and Moms for Liberty quickly released a statement claiming Ziegler had not been involved with their organization since January 2021.
  • Axios observed “the coordinated stance from top Republican officials in Florida” supporting Ziegler’s removal “reflects growing concern within the party over the allegations against Ziegler and potential damage to the party’s reputation.”



  • The New York Post noted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and Rep. Matt Gaetz had all called for Ziegler to resign for the good of the party before his ouster.
  • Fox News provided additional details about the video voyeurism allegations that may have been the final straw for Florida Republicans. Ziegler is accused of filming his victim during the alleged sexual encounter at the center of the rape investigation.
  • National Review quoted Ziegler, who said in December that he was being targeted for being “such loud political voices” for conservatives, which doesn’t address why virtually every leading conservative in the Sunshine State was demanding his resignation.

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© Dominic Moore, 2023