Resignation over photos puts pressure on Florida governor

Clay Curtis
January 26, 2019

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

DeSantis's office said the governor had not seen the photos of Ertel before Thursday.

Michael Ertel, Florida's new secretary of state, has already resigned from office after photos emerged of him in blackface at a Halloween party more than a decade ago.

As Ertel came to discuss the state's elections systems and pending litigation left over from the 2018 campaign, members of the committee including Plakon, Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani from neighboring Orange County, and others praised him for being an elections official with a strong reputation for professionalism and integrity.

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel wasn't on the job long before he chose to resign from his position.

Ertel confirmed the photos were of him.

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Her decision didn't go down well with the party as its National Chairman, Ganiyu Galadima , has accused her of dishonesty . "That was over a month ago", Isamade said.

The Democrat reports that, in the photos, Ertel's shirt - which was apparently stuffed to imitate breasts - also read "Katrina Victim", a reference to people who suffered through the hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast earlier that year.

Ertel, the former Seminole County supervisor of elections, was named to the secretary of state post by DeSantis on December 28. He declined to comment on the record about the photos, telling the Tallahassee Democrat, "There's nothing I can say".

He was dressed as an African-American woman wearing blackface and red lipstick, earrings and a New Orleans Saints bandana, with falsies under a purple T-shirt that had the words "Katrina victim" written on it.

"It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida", he wrote. "I've got to have an administration that's going to be focused on what matters to Floridians, and I don't want to get mired into kind of side-controversies". I think it's unfortunate.

DeSantis past year defeated Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who was seeking to become Florida's first black governor.

"As a personal friend, I'm heartbroken", said Plakon and added that Ertel had a good reputation in his home county.

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