Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani doesn’t hold back on Ziegler hypocrisy

Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D-Orlando) debates on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. Photo courtesy of Rep. Anna V. Eskamani’s office.

By Bonnie Fuller

December 19, 2023

In an exclusive interview with Floricua, the Florida Democrat calls out husband-and-wife politicians Christian and Bridget Ziegler’s “thirst for power and control.”

“I hope there will be an implosion of both the Republican Party of Florida and Moms For Liberty.”

These are the no-holds-barred words of Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, a Florida Democrat representing parts of Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Eatonville, Edgewood, and Belle Isle in the state House.

In an exclusive interview with Floricua, Eskamani—who has represented Florida’s 42nd district since 2018—spoke about the hypocrisy of her state’s Republican party, particularly demonstrated by husband-and-wife politicians Christian and Bridget Ziegler.

“They don’t care about truth, they don’t care about fact, and they don’t care about the state or the country,” she said. “They just care about themselves, their own thirst for power and control.”

Bridget Ziegler is a co-founder of the ultra-conservative group Moms For Liberty—an anti-government organization working to ban books and remove student inclusion activities and accurate portrayals of race in public schools. The group first made a name for itself while opposing public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs. Ziegler also serves as a member of the Sarasota County School Board, which last month called for her resignation in a rare 4-1 vote (the single vote against was her own). She did not resign.

Eskamani’s reaction came in light of the recent news that Bridget and Christian had a three-way sexual encounter with another woman, who has separately accused Mr. Ziegler of rape.

“I hope it shines a light for the American people, and especially Floridians, on how disingenuous, hypocritical and dangerous these institutions are,” Eskamani said.

Mrs. Ziegler confessed to the threesome, which took place about a year ago, in an arrest warrant affidavit after the woman involved in that triangle accused Mr. Ziegler of raping her on Oct. 2, 2023. The woman alleges that the sexual assault occurred when Mr. Ziegler came to her apartment for a planned encounter, but Mrs. Ziegler backed out—leading the woman to cancel the engagement. It was then that Mr. Ziegler raped her without wearing a condom, she said.

As backlash escalated, Christian Ziegler was suspended on Monday from his role as Chairman of the Florida State Republican Party.

Mrs. Ziegler has been an outspoken advocate for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial “Don’t Say Gay” education law, which prevents any discussion in Florida public school classrooms about sexual orientation or gender identity. Ziegler was also appointed by DeSantis to his Central Florida Tourism District, which he set up to “govern Disney World” after then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek condemned the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eskamani and other Floridians have found it highly ironic that Mrs. Ziegler has confessed to a same-sex relationship.

“The notion of sexual freedom for me but not for thee is incredibly concerning and disturbing,” Eskamani said. “And, candidly, do what you want to do. Engage in it as long as it’s consensual … engage in whatever sexual activity you want to do, but how dare you tell others what they can and cannot do?”

Eskamani noted that “these are two prominent individuals in far-right politics who have demonized LGBTQ+ people and attacked LGBTQ+ people,” including children.

She went on to accuse the couple of “endangering children and their ability to access health care and be themselves. That is why they deserve to be exposed and they deserve to not hold positions of power, and they should absolutely face the consequences of their behavior—whether it’s in a criminal court like Christian Ziegler is experiencing the process right now, or in the court of public opinion.”

The Zieglers have also been outspoken supporters of a bill banning transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming medical care, passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature and signed into law by DeSantis on May 17, despite opposition from the American Academy of Academics and the American Medical Association.

Eskamani said that “many Republicans express to me how upset they are by (the Zieglers’ sex scandal) because these individuals have branded themselves as being stalwarts of ‘traditional family values.’” She called for “both the Zieglers to resign from their political positions and to stop harassing Floridians with their extreme agenda,” and said she hopes “the survivor of the alleged sexual assault gets the justice and closure she seeks.”

READ MORE: Florida Moms for Liberty members call cops on school librarians over YA books

 

Author

  • Bonnie Fuller

    Bonnie Fuller is the former CEO & Editor-in-Chief of HollywoodLife.com, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, USWeekly and YM. She now writes about politics and reproductive rights.

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