Moms for Liberty co-founder faces calls for resignation from school board amid sex scandal

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A real-life drama is playing out in Florida, with a leading conservative advocate for traditional family values fighting to keep her position on a school board after details about her alleged role in a sex scandal involving her husband and another woman came to light.

Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of the conservative political organization Moms for Liberty, faced criticism from the community during the last several Sarasota School Board meetings, when residents turned out with calls for Ziegler to resign.

The Sarasota School Board has requested Ziegler’s resignation, even voting on it at one of their meetings in December. The vote was 4-1 for her removal, with Bridget Ziegler herself being the holdout. But board members do not have authority to remove her from the board and she has refused to step down.

“Bridget Ziegler is no longer an effective politician,” said Zander Moricz, the former 2022 class president at Pine View School who now runs the youth-led organization, Social Equity through Education (SEE) Alliance. He is demanding Ziegler’s resignation. “This is make or break.”

PHOTO: Board member Bridget Ziegler, seated at a Sarasota County School Board meeting in Sarasota, Fla., Dec. 12, 2023.   (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Board member Bridget Ziegler, seated at a Sarasota County School Board meeting in Sarasota, Fla., Dec. 12, 2023. (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Bridget Ziegler’s advocacy has seen her speak at numerous Republican events and rallies, and even cheering on the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a controversial ban on any LGBTQ+ curriculum in kindergarten through third grade. Similar legislation is now making its way through 30 other states.

“I don't want my children or their peers to learn to hate America through the anti-American curriculum that we continue to see,” Bridget said during a June 2021 appearance on Fox News.

The saga began when Bridget’s husband, Christian Ziegler, was recently removed as Florida’s Republican Party Chairman after being accused of sexual assault by an unnamed woman who the couple admits had previously engaged with them in threesomes.

The accuser, who has been friends with the Zieglers for almost two decades, told Sarasota police that she had been sexually assaulted by Christian Ziegler after she canceled their plans for a threesome when Bridget Ziegler dropped out.

A court-obtained affidavit shows the woman stated, “she was not in a place to consent because it was her day off and she had been drinking tequila all day.”

PHOTO: Sarasota school board member Tom Edwards says that he has witnessed “the explosion of Moms for Liberty across the country.” (ABC News)
PHOTO: Sarasota school board member Tom Edwards says that he has witnessed “the explosion of Moms for Liberty across the country.” (ABC News)

Bridget Ziegler admitted to police that she had a threesome with the accuser once, while her husband told investigators the couple had a threesome twice at their home, and that he had consensual sex with the woman approximately a dozen times.

Police say during the alleged sexual assault investigation, they found a video recording of a sexual encounter on Christian’s cell phone involving the accuser. Police say they believe the “encounter was likely consensual.”

“Bridget Ziegler has made her career focused on eliminating LGBTQ+ discussion and LGBTQ+ existences from public schools,” Zander Moricz told “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang. “All the while engaging in an LGBTQ+ relationship.”

“She's welcome to have threesomes,” Moricz said. “The real problem here is that we have a politician who has successfully spent years lying and changing political discourse and structure across our state. But what she knew the whole time was a lie."

“We recognize she's a hypocrite,” said Joyce Peralta, who spoke at one the recent school board meetings. “What do our students see? A liar.”

Moms for Liberty, a nonprofit that receives funding from conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Leadership Institute, works to effect change in school boards across the country, including advocating against school curricula that mention LGBTQ+ rights, critical race theory and discrimination.

“I watched the explosion of Moms for Liberty across the country,” Sarasota school board member Tom Edwards told ABC News. “And I said, ‘This is a political movement. We're in trouble.’ And no one listened until it was too late.”

“They were promoting a political philosophy that was based on the idea that the people who know best are the parents in a traditional two-parent heterosexual household,” said Nicole Hemmer, a political historian at Vanderbilt University, speaking about the Zieglers. “And here they were, living in their private lives, acting in a way that didn't conform to that idea.”

PHOTO: Zander Moricz, former 2022 class president at Pine View School who now runs youth-led organization, SEE Alliance, speaks with Nightline’s Juju Chang. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Zander Moricz, former 2022 class president at Pine View School who now runs youth-led organization, SEE Alliance, speaks with Nightline’s Juju Chang. (ABC News)

But the new Florida GOP Chair, Evan Power, says school board politics still plays a significant role in the Republican Party.

“Moms for Liberty is an important group that's moved our agenda forward and helped Republicans and conservatives get elected to school boards,” Power said. “Any kind of investigation that Bridget and Christian are involved in, I hope, does not distract from their goal, which is moving parental rights forward and helping conservatives win school board races.”

While Bridget Ziegler has not been accused of any crime, she struggles to keep her position on the school board. Police declined to press sexual battery charges against her husband, but he may still be charged by the state attorney’s office with video voyeurism for allegedly filming without the woman’s consent.

PHOTO: Bridget Ziegler, a member of the Sarasota County School Board and co-founder of Moms for Liberty, in Sarasota, Fla., Nov. 17, 2022. (Zack Wittman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Bridget Ziegler, a member of the Sarasota County School Board and co-founder of Moms for Liberty, in Sarasota, Fla., Nov. 17, 2022. (Zack Wittman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“We strongly believe that the State Attorney will not prosecute Mr. Ziegler for any crime,” Christian Zielger’s lawyer said in a statement to ABC News.

Bridget Ziegler addressed the scandal for the first time during the February school board meeting.

“Much of the conversation that's come up at public comment I will never address in these chambers,” she said, “because it has absolutely nothing to do with my role as a board member.”

Moms for Liberty co-founder faces calls for resignation from school board amid sex scandal originally appeared on abcnews.go.com