Florida’s New Secretary Of State Resigns After Photo Of Him In Blackface Surface

Courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned after photos of his 2005 "Katrina victim" Halloween costume surfaced.

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel handed his resignation to Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday after photos surfaced of the official dressed as a Hurricane Katrina victim and wearing blackface, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The photos were given to the Democrat, which verified they depicted Ertel during a Halloween party in 2005, just two months after the hurricane decimated New Orleans.

The photos obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat were shown to the Governor's Office on Thursday morning. Hours later it issued a statement.

"The governor accepted Secretary Ertel's resignation," the Governor's Office said.

"I am submitting my resignation as Florida secretary of state effective immediately," he wrote. "It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida."

When approached by the Democrat about the photos, Ertel “identified himself as the white man in blackface and red lipstick, wearing earrings and a New Orleans Saints bandanna, and falsies under a purple T-shirt that had "Katrina Victim" written on it.”

However, Ertel offered no on-the-record comment on the matter: "There's nothing I can say," Ertel said.

DeSantis appointed Ertel on December 28 to replace former Governor Rick Scott’s secretary of state, Ken Detzner.

The newly elected governor has faced accusations of racism himself, when prior to the 2018 election he said he hoped Floridians would not “monkey this up” by electing his opponent, Andrew Gillum, who is black.

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