- Michael Ertel, Florida’s Secretary of State, has resigned.
- His resignation comes as the Tallahassee Democrat published photos of him wearing blackface at a Halloween party in 2005.
- He was dressed up as a caricature of a victim of Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people two months earlier.
Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned Thursday after the Tallahassee Democrat, a local publication, obtained photos of him wearing blackface in 2005 in a costume mocking victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“I am submitting my resignation as Florida Secretary of State effective immediately,” Ertel wrote in his resignation letter. “It has been an honour to serve you and the voters of Florida.”
Ertel was appointed on December 28 by Ron DeSantis, Florida’s newly elected Republican governor.
He wore the costume at a Halloween party, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. In the photos, he’s wearing black makeup on his face, red lipstick, a purple T-shirt reading “Katrina victim” over false breasts, earrings, and a New Orleans Saints bandanna.
The photo was taken in 2005, eight months after Ertel was appointed Seminole County supervisor of elections and two months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. https://t.co/quleb5ZMGX
— Tallahassee Democrat (@TDOnline) January 24, 2019
The Halloween party occurred shortly after then-governor Jeb Bush appointed Ertel as supervisor of elections for Seminole County.
Hurricane Katrina, in August of that year, was among the most devastating storms in the history of the United States. It killed more than 1,800 people.
“There’s nothing I can say,” Ertel told the Tallahassee Democrat Thursday.
- Read more:
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- A Covington Catholic student defended the school’s prior use of blackface by saying it is ‘school spirit’
- People have accused Covington Catholic students of wearing blackface at a 2012 basketball game, but alumni say it was an innocent ‘blackout’ cheer theme