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Secretary of State Mike Ertel resigns after photos of him in blackface surface

TALLAHASSEE – Newly appointed Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel has resigned from office after photos of him posing as a female Hurricane Katrina victim in blackface were obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat, the paper reported online Thursday.

According to the Democrat, the photos were taken in 2005, shortly after Ertel had become supervisor of elections in Seminole County, and depict Ertel in blackface wearing a New Orleans Saints bandanna around his head and a shirt with the words “Katrina Victim” written on it.

Ertel confirmed to the paper he was the man in the photos last week, the Democrat reported. The paper shared the photos with the governor’s office Thursday, which had not previously seen the photos.

“There’s nothing I can say,” Ertel told the paper. He did not respond to a request for comment.

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