Florida's new secretary of state quickly resigned yesterday (January 24th) after photos surfaced of him in blackface wearing a costume that mocked Hurricane Katrina victims at a 2005 Halloween party, just two months after Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper obtained the photos, which showed Republican Michael Ertel in blackface while wearing earrings, a New Orleans Saints bandanna, and a purple T-shirt with "Katrina Victim" written on it over fake breasts. At the time, Ertel was Seminole County's supervisor of elections. Ertel, who'd been in the job as Florida's top election supervisor less than three weeks after being chosen for the job by new Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, told the newspaper, "There’s nothing I can say."
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