FL Sec Of State Resigns Over Photos Of Him In Blackface Dressed As Katrina Victim

Seminole County, Fla., Elections Supervisor Michael Ertel grabs a box of ballots during the count of 600 provisional ballots, in Sanford, Florida, Thursday, November 8, 2012. In background, Richard Siwica, counsel for Mike Clelland, the challenger that is currently leading incumbent Chris Dorworth, looks on. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)
Seminole County, Fla., Elections Supervisor Michael Ertel grabs a box of ballots during the count of 600 provisional ballots, in Sanford, Florida, Thursday, November 8, 2012. In background, Richard Siwica, counsel fo... Seminole County, Fla., Elections Supervisor Michael Ertel grabs a box of ballots during the count of 600 provisional ballots, in Sanford, Florida, Thursday, November 8, 2012. In background, Richard Siwica, counsel for Mike Clelland, the challenger that is currently leading incumbent Chris Dorworth, looks on. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel has resigned after photos from a Halloween party 14 years ago that show him wearing blackface and dressed up as a Hurricane Katrina victim surfaced in a new Tallahassee Democrat report. 

“The governor accepted Secretary Ertel’s resignation,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat Thursday. When reached by TPM, the office said it didn’t yet have a statement on the incident.

The pictures show Ertel wearing blackface, red lipstick, earrings, a New Orleans Saints bandana tied around his head and a t-shirt that said “Katrina Victim” scrawled across it. They were reportedly captured in 2005, just months after Hurricane Katrina ransacked New Orleans, causing nearly 2,000 deaths. At the time, Ertel was serving as the supervisor of elections for Seminole County in Florida.

Ertel would not comment to the Democrat on the record, telling the newspaper, “there’s nothing I can say.”

Read the full report here. 

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