A Florida Republican has left his job after an photo of him, allegedly in a Ku Klux Klan costume, has made the rounds online.
Gadsden County Commissioner Jeffery Moore, a Republican appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in July, resigned from the five-person county board of commissioners on Friday, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
The photo reportedly shows Moore at a Halloween party wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe, in response to the newspaper.
A Gadsden Co. commissioner, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, abruptly resigned from the post in Florida’s only predominantly Black county after a photograph surfaced purportedly showing him wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood at what might have been a Halloween party years earlier. pic.twitter.com/iadi4gI323
— Christopher Cann (@ChrisCannFL) September 27, 2022
Moore, the one white person on the board with 4 Black commissioners, lives in a county where 55% of the residents are Black, in response to U.S. census data. Gadsden County is on the Georgia border, just west of Tallahassee.
Tracey Stallworth, a pastor in Gadsden County, told the Tallahassee Democrat there’d be a news conference on Wednesday calling on Moore and the governor to weigh in on the photo.
“It’s a really sad day in our history and a tragic time for this county … the blackest county within the state, this is just not OK,” Stallworth said.
Moore, who didn’t elaborate on why he was resigning in his letter, also reportedly stopped his campaign to proceed as county commissioner in November.
“Thanks for the chance to have served within the position, nevertheless for private reasons I’m now not capable of proceed,” Moore wrote to DeSantis’ office.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Moore wrote he was “in the course of hurricane preparations” and would contact them on Tuesday or Wednesday. Hurricane Ian is predicted to strike Florida this week.
HuffPost has reached out to each Moore and DeSantis for comment.
The racist costume controversy comes over three years after one other DeSantis-appointed official, Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel, resigned when a photograph emerged of him in blackface and dressed as a “Hurricane Katrina victim.”