- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 24, 2019

Michael Ertel, the newly appointed secretary of state of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, resigned Thursday after photos surfaced that showed him dressed as a “Hurricane Katrina victim” and wearing blackface at a 2005 Halloween party.

“I am submitting my resignation as Florida secretary of state effective immediately,” Mr. Ertel wrote in his resignation letter, obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat. “It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida.”

The Tallahassee Democrat obtained the photos that showed Mr. Ertel in blackface, red lipstick, a New Orleans Saints bandanna and a purple T-shirt that read “Katrina Victim.” Mr. Ertel confirmed to the newspaper that it was himself in the photos, which were taken eight months after he was appointed Seminole County supervisor of elections.

“It’s unfortunate. He’s done a lot of good work,” Mr. DeSantis said Thursday at an unrelated press conference.

The governor said he accepted Mr. Ertel’s resignation because “I don’t want to get mired in side controversies,” the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

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