A Florida man who spent just weeks atop the state’s electoral machinery as Secretary of State has just resigned after inexcuseable photos of him dressed in blackface emerged in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.
Former Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel was only appointed to the role in late December by new Gov. Ron DeSantis, who made headlines for calling his African-American opponent a “monkey” on Fox News.
Ertel resigned within only a few hours of the newspaper asking Gov. DeSantis for comment this morning on the egregious photographs, which depicted his Secretary of State dressing in drag and outrageously pretending to be a victim of Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005. The Democrat wrote:
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.
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.
Mike Ertel was appointed to the role of county election supervisor by former Gov. Jeb Bush only months before the offensive photos, and easily won re-election in the heavily Republican county the next year and since then.
He even participated in monitoring the 2006 New Orleans mayoral election the following year.
Ertel’s job as Florida Secretary of State put him in the middle of the most consequential question in the swing state about voting rights after the people voted overwhelmingly to enact Amendment 4 last November, which would automatically give the franchise back to convicted felons who have served their time.
The state’s last Republican Governor lost an embarrassing federal court decision after he openly discriminated against African-American ex-felons begging him for their rights back while helping white applicants who promised to vote for him.
Moreover, Ertel’s appointment to such a high-ranking position shows that Florida’s new Republican Governor who surprised many by being less harmful to the environment is still nothing more than a typical Trump-ally.
Last week, DeSantis turned around and appointed a Trump Administration lawyer to the Florida Supreme Court, who gave Trump University a free pass while working in the state’s Attorney General’s office. Even worse the Trump official he nominated has absolutely no judicial experience.
Sadly, the Sunshine State’s newest GOP governor has continued the trend of turning Florida’s elections into a laughing stock by appointing someone who is pretty much openly racist to be Secretary of State.
Here are the racist photos of Florida’s disgraced former Secretary of State via the Tallahassee Democrat: