Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel submitted his resignation on Thursday after photos emerged of the politician in blackface at a 2005 Halloween party.
A spokesperson for Governor Ron DeSantis said that the newly elected Republican leader had ‘accepted Secretary Ertel’s resignation’ on Thursday afternoon, hours after his office was shown the photos obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat.
In the pictures, Ertel, 49, is dressed like the highly-offensive mammie character in blackface, red lipstick and a New Orleans Saints bandanna.
The Republican politician then finished it off with falsies and a shirt that read ‘Katrina victim,’ clearly meant to mock the victims of the disaster just two months after the storm devastated the Louisiana coast.
Ertel is now the second high-profile Caucasian to lose their job in the past few months over their belief that blackface is acceptable at Halloween.
Ertel had only been on the job for just a few weeks, having been appointed by Gov. DeSantis to his new position on December 28.
He was previously the Seminole County supervisor of elections, a post he was appointed to by Jeb Bush in 2005 before winning reelection four times.
The photos that have emerged were taken just eight months after Bush selected Ertel to replace Dennis Joyner, who stepped down from the post citing poor health.
Ertel had been going about the task of implementing the recently passed Amendment 4 in his first few weeks in office, which restored voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with felony convictions.
He had worked to expand voting rights in his previous position as well, so much so that in 2012 the city of Longwood awarded him the Martin Luther King Jr. award.
When asked to comment on the photo by the Democrat, Ertel said: ‘There’s nothing I can say.’
He resigned shortly after giving a morning presentation, before the Democrat published its story.
It was a swift decision by Ertel, who prior to his time in Florida politics did public relations for the US Army, spending eight years crafting the media response to major events including the LA riots and the three-year armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.