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Florida’s Secretary Of State Resigned After Blackface Photos Of Him Dressed As A “Katrina Victim” Surfaced

The photos were taken at a Halloween party in 2005, just two months after Hurricane Katrina.

Posted on January 24, 2019, at 4:54 p.m. ET

Steve Cannon / AP

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned Thursday after old photos resurfaced showing him in blackface dressed as a “Katrina victim.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis had appointed Ertel, 49, to the job less than a month ago.

First published by the Tallahassee Democrat on Thursday, the photos showed Ertel in blackface while wearing earrings, lipstick, a New Orleans Saints bandana, and a T-shirt with “Katrina Victim” scrawled across it.

The photos were taken at a Halloween party in 2005, just eight months after he was appointed Seminole County supervisor of elections and two months after Hurricane Katrina, the newspaper reported.

Florida Secretary of State appointed by @GovRonDeSantis resigns after pics emerge of him in blackface, a New Orleans Saints bandanna, and shirt that says "Katrina Victim" because Florida: https://t.co/BpYUjuc4Qs

The governor’s press office told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that “the Governor accepted Secretary Ertel’s resignation.”

Ertel’s resignation letter, which the governor’s press office shared with BuzzFeed News, said the resignation would be “effective immediately.”

“It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida,” Ertel said.

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