Florida's newly appointed secretary of state resigned Thursday after the emergence of photos from 2005 of him in blackface, apparently mimicking victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
The photos - which were obtained by the Democrat and presented to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office on Thursday - show Michael Ertel wearing blackface with red lipstick and a New Orleans Saints bandanna. He also donned a shirt that read "Katrina Victim," the Democrat reports.
Ertel, 49, confirmed to the Democrat that he was the man pictured: "There's nothing I can say," he said.
Florida state officials did not respond to requests for comments from The Post.
According to the Democrat, Ertel submitted his resignation around 2 p.m. by email. The governor's office accepted Ertel's resignation shortly after seeing the photos, the newspaper reported.
The photos were reportedly taken at a private Halloween party 14 years ago, two months after Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm to which more than 1,800 deaths have been attributed, hit New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast, according to the Democrat. At the time the photos were taken, Ertel was the supervisor of elections in Seminole County. DeSantis appointed Ertel as secretary of state on Dec. 28.
DeSantis's office said the governor had not seen the photos of Ertel before Thursday.
"It's unfortunate. He's done a lot of good work," DeSantis, R, said at a Thursday news conference on hurricane relief, the Democrat reports. DeSantis said he accepted the resignation because he didn't "want to get mired in side controversies."