Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel Resigns Over Blackface Pictures -- Can Republicans Avoid These Incidents?

A Florida politician was forced to resign after some old pictures surfaced online -- he appears in blackface. The governor wants to put this scandal behind him.

source: The Daily Beast

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel was forced to resign from his position after some highly-offensive photographs of him surfaced via the Tallahassee Democrat.

A representative from the office of Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that the Republican had accepted the official's resignation on Thursday.

Mr. Ertel decided to quit his influential position on the same day that the news of the compromising pictures reached him and his colleagues.

"I am submitting my resignation as Florida Secretary of State effective immediately," Ertel said via an email to the newly-elected Florida governor. "It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida."

"It's unfortunate. I think he's done a lot of good work," Mr. DeSantis said.

He stated that he accepted the resignation because "I don't want to get mired into kind of side controversies, and so I felt it was best just to accept the resignation and move on."

In the disturbing photographs, which were taken at a Halloween party back in 2005, the former Florida secretary can be seen disguised as an unforgivable mockery of Katrina disaster victims.

The high-profile politician is wearing a T-shirt with the inscription "Katrina victim" and is dressed like a woman. Additionally, it can be seen that the politician's face is painted in black and his lips are in red.

The offensive outfit was completed with colorful earrings and a New Orleans Saints bandanna.

Ertel’s resignation may be a big surprise to many, especially given the fact that he landed the high-profile post just over a month ago -- he started on December 28th.

Before becoming the Florida secretary of state, the 49-year-old politician was occupying the position of Seminole County supervisor of elections, which was given to him by former Governor Jeb Bush back in 2005.

Afterward, Ertel was appointed by Bush as a replacement of Dennis Joyner, who needed a retreat from his career due to health issues.

Ertel is mainly famous for his hard work in expanding voting rights, and he was even honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. award in 2012 by the city of Longwood.  

Ertel deleted his social media accounts after his resignation.

Was the resignation necessary?