Republican Florida Secretary of State Resigns Over Blackface Photo


Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel, who was appointed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, has resigned over recently-discovered photos in which Ertel used blackface to portray himself as a Hurricane Katrina survivor at a Halloween party.

Following the resignation, the photos began making the rounds on Twitter:

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, which obtained the photos and sent them to Ertel last week, the Republican official confirmed the details of the photo:

After the Democrat texted the photos to him last week, Ertel, 49, 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.

DeSantis — who kicked off his gubernatorial campaign with a remark that was so racist, Fox News apologized for it —  commented on Ertel’s resignation Thursday, taking pains to point out the photo’s age, and expressing concern over the effect of the controversy.

DeSantis told reporters “I felt it was best to just accept the resignation and move on. I think it’s unfortunate, I think he regrets that oh, that, that whole thing 14, 15 years ago.”

He also told reporters he accepted the resignation because “I don’t want to get mired in side controversies,” according to The Democrat.

Watch the clip above, via Central Florida News 13.


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