By BRENDAN FARRINGTON
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Party of Florida has ousted Chairman Christian Ziegler and has replaced him with a new leader as police investigate a rape accusation against him. The turmoil preceding Monday’s vote was an unwelcome distraction for the state’s top Republican, Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has been in Iowa campaigning in the final days before the crucial first-in-the-nation presidential caucus. Ziegler denies the accusation, and he has not been charged with a crime. But the party suspended him last month and demanded his resignation, saying he couldn’t effectively lead during a critical election year. He had refused. Ziegler and his wife admitted to police that they previously had a consensual sexual relationship with Christian Ziegler’s accuser. His wife has not been accused of a crime.