FL. Secretary of State Resigns After Photos of Him in Blackface Surface

FL. Secretary of State Resigns After Photos of Him in Blackface Surface

FL. Secretary of State Resigns After Photos of Him in Blackface Surface

He was appointed to fill the position by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on December 28, 2018.

While at a Halloween party in 2005, Ertel, now 49, dressed up as a woman who was a victim of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in the Broward and Miami-Dade Counties of Florida in August of that year.

They were reportedly captured in 2005, just months after Hurricane Katrina ransacked New Orleans, causing almost 2,000 deaths.

The newspaper declined to say how it obtained the photos when NPR asked for those details. The photo surfaced online on Thursday, just hours after he had testified before a House committee about the 2018 election. "I want to be putting people in from all walks of life", DeSantis had told a largely black audience at First Baptist Church Piney Grove in Lauderdale Lakes. But the incident raised questions about the vetting process used by DeSantis and his transition team for top hires, many of whom still need to go through state Senate confirmation.

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At a news conference, Governor DeSantis responded to the resignation, saying: "It's unfortunate". Last year, DeSantis narrowly defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum in a bitter race with racial overtones. As a result, he was honored by the city of Longwood, Florida, with an award named for civil rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In returning to Seminole County, he remained in the public-affairs field, serving in that role for Seminole County before the appointment by Bush. "So I felt it was best to just move on".

On Friday, DeSantis suspended Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher at the recommendation of Ertel, who wrote a three-page letter that listed what he called "ingrained institutional incompetence" at the Palm Beach office. Ertel recommended the governor take action against the Democratic official, contending that she had violated state election laws and was incompetent. Democrats have criticized the suspension as politically motivated.

The northwest Florida Republican said Thursday in a text message that he "strongly" urged DeSantis hire Ertel but noted he had support from members of both parties. He added that Ertel had done good work in his two weeks on the job, but that he didn't want the distraction in his administration.

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