Florida official resigns after blackface photos emerge of him dressed as Katrina victim in 2005

Florida official resigns after blackface photos emerge of him dressed as Katrina victim in 2005
. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) (Source: Steve Cannon)

(Gray News) – Michael Ertel, the Florida secretary of state, resigned on Thursday after pictures emerged of him wearing blackface at a Halloween party more than a decade ago.

The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper obtained and published the photos, from 2005, which show Ertel wearing a racist stereotype costume of a Hurricane Katrina victim.

“I am submitting my resignation as Florida Secretary of State effective immediately," Ertel said in his resignation letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis. “It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida.”

DeSantis has accepted Ertel’s resignation, the governor’s press office said.

Ertel, the former Seminole County supervisor of elections, was named to the secretary of state post by DeSantis on Dec. 28.

He was sworn in on Jan. 8 and had held the position for 16 days.

His biography on the Florida Department of State website has already been pulled down.

The photo was taken in 2005, eight months after Michael Ertel was appointed Seminole County supervisor of elections and two months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Posted by Tallahassee Democrat on Thursday, January 24, 2019

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