Whoops! Another Florida Republican Caught With Their Racist Hanging Out In Halloween Pics
Hurricane Ian is bearing down on Florida. We wish everyone well. However, this post is about Gadsden County Commissioner Jeff Moore, who abruptly resigned last week after pictures emerged of him in a Klu Klux Klan outfit.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Moore, a Republican, to serve as county commissioner in late July. Gadsden County is located along the Georgia border in rural North Florida. The Black population is about 55 percent, which is among the highest in the state. DeSantis courageously found a white guy for the job. During Moore's drive-through tenure, he was the only non-Black member of the county commission and presumably the only one with a history of Klan cosplay.
Monday, the governor's office confirmed Moore's sudden departure but claimed it didn't know why. Here's why: Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young received the Klan photos of Moore last Tuesday. Young is Black and endorsed DeSantis for what he probably believes are good reasons. When Young confronted Moore about the photos, Moore admitted it was him in the Klan outfit.
“That was the first time I had seen [the photos] or started having to deal with it,” [Young] said. “He told me it was a costume.”
Tallahassee Democrat reporter Christopher Cann tweeted one of the photos, which he described "as purportedly showing [Moore] wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood at what could have been a Halloween party years earlier." Sure, it could've been a Halloween party. It could also have been just another Tuesday. That was the whole problem with the Klan. They didn't suit up just once a year.
\u201cA Gadsden Co. commissioner, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, abruptly resigned from the post in Florida\u2019s only predominantly Black county after a photo surfaced purportedly showing him wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood at what could have been a Halloween party years earlier.\u201d— Christopher Cann (@Christopher Cann) 1664312082
Also, where would anyone actually purchase a KKK Halloween costume? It's not like they stock those in Walmart next to Sexy Nazi. The photo was obviously taken a while ago, however, as Moore probably couldn't fit into the costume today.
Gadsden County Commissioner Brenda Holt, who's Black and not Klan-affiliated, said she'd heard about the photo days before a "local citizen" texted a copy to her.
"I really got this gut feeling in the bottom of my stomach," said Holt, a retired school teacher. "It's just total disrespect."
Holt said she received a number of calls from outraged residents, including local students who had seen the photo.
Tracey Stallworth, a local pastor, will hold a press conference Wednesday in front of the Gadsden County Courthouse, where she and other clergy members will "formally ask for the truth" from Moore. Stallworth believes the community deserves answers from Moore and DeSantis.
However, an explanation or even an apology don't appear forthcoming. Moore's resignation was like a break-up letter written on a Post-It. The motherfucker's concise.
"Please accept this notification of my resignation, effective this date of Sept. 23, 2022, from the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners," Moore wrote. "Thank you for the opportunity to have served in the position, however for personal reasons I am no longer able to continue."
Moore had replaced County Commissioner Anthony Viegbesie, who'd retired for non-Klan-related reason. Moore would've run against Democrat Alonzetta Johnson-Simpkin in the November election, but she appears to have a clear path to the seat now that Moore's political career has gone up in flames.
Mutaqee Akbar, president of the NAACP Tallahassee Chapter, said, "I’m not surprised Gov. DeSantis would appoint someone with this ideology. Even if they didn’t know about the picture, it’s the kind of person I can see him picking.”
We don't disagree, and it's worth noting that after freely posing for this photo, Moore went on to have a successful career: He was a former tax law specialist at the Florida Department of Revenue, president of the Association of Florida Conservation Districts, and served as chairman of the Gadsden Soil and Water Conservation District.
This is not the first official DeSantis has appointed with a racist history. Michael Ertel resigned in January 2019 after less than a month as secretary of state when photos emerged of him in blackface drag at a 2005 Halloween party. HIs "costume" was a Hurricane Katrina victim. An estimated 1833 people died because of Katrina, more than a dozen in Florida.
We can imagine Jeff Moore will stick with a more appropriate costume this Halloween, perhaps the ghost of the his political ambitions.
Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.
Yr Wonkette is 100 percent ad-free! Please subscribe, donate, and otherwise help keep us alive and kicking!
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."