Former Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel hired as contractor for Seminole County elections office

Former Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel has been hired as a temporary contractor for the office, following his resignation last month as secretary of state after photos surfaced of him wearing blackface.

WKMG 6 reports Ertel will be on a three-month contract worth $5,000 per month, the Seminole County elections office confirmed. 

Orlando Weekly has reached out to Ertel for comment.

"When it comes to vote by mail, early voting and Election Day voting, a lot of work goes into this process leading up to it," says Chris Anderson, Seminole County Supervisor of Elections. "We want to get our elections right in Seminole County. Our voters demand it."

Ertel's experience is valuable to that type of work, Anderson adds.

In January, the Tallahassee Democrat published photos of Ertel in blackface wearing red lipstick, earrings, a New Orleans Saints bandanna and a purple T-shirt with the words "Katrina Victim" written on it. Ertel later admitted that the photos were taken in 2005, roughly eight months after he was appointed as the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections. The photos were taken weeks after Hurricane Katrina killed hundreds in New Orleans.

Ertel later apologized.

Before the photos surfaced, Ertel was boosted to serve as Florida secretary of state by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in December, replacing Ken Detzner. Ertel resigned from the position on Jan. 24.

DeSantis replaced Ertel as secretary of state with Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Laurel M. Lee.

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