Ertel, who was appointed to the position on December 28 by newly-elected Gov. Ron DeSantis, was seen in photos wearing blackface as a part of a Hurricane Katrina victim costume in 2005. The newspaper said the resignation came after it shared the photographs with the office of the governor, who appointed him to the position.
In the photos, Ertel is seen with red lipstick, a bandanna for the New Orleans Saints football team and a t-shirt labeling him "Katrina Victim", in addition to the blackface makeup.
"There's nothing I can say", Ertel told the Democrat, when confronted with the photos.
Along with overseeing elections, Ertel had been charged with running a state department that also includes the Division of Corporations, the Division of Cultural Affairs, the Division of Historical Resources and the Division of Library and Information Services. "I don't want to get mired in side controversies".
DeSantis said during a Thursday news conference that Ertel regretted dressing up in blackface but was right to step down after the pictures surfaced.
In returning to Seminole County, he remained in the public-affairs field, serving in that role for Seminole County before the appointment by Bush.
"It's unfortunate. I think he's done a lot of good work", DeSantis said later on Thursday.
Governor Ron DeSantis was asked about the resignation following a hurricane announcement in Marianna.
Lawmakers who know Ertel say the pictures don't reflect the man they know.
After receiving the photos from the Tallahassee Democrat, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statement on Thursday saying he had accepted Ertel's resignation. Ertel recommended the governor take action against the Democratic official, contending that she had violated state election laws and was incompetent.