Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Announces Michael Ertel for Secretary of State

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced Michael Ertel will serve as Florida’s next Secretary of State for the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration. 

“As Supervisor of Elections in Seminole County – where he has been elected by the voters four times – Mike has proven that he is vastly qualified to lead the state’s elections efforts as Secretary of State, and will strive to ensure that Florida voters are confident that elections continue to be fair and accurate,” said Governor-elect DeSantis. “I look forward to Mike bringing not only his elections expertise to Florida voters, but his steady leadership to the Department of State, as it seeks to improve the quality of life for all Floridians through its various activities, including preserving the state’s historical and cultural heritage; maintaining an open government by providing all Florida citizens access to information; and, enhancing Florida communities through business-friendly grant programs.”  

Michael Ertel, Secretary of State
Ertel has been the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections for thirteen years. Originally appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in February 2005, he was subsequently reelected by voters in 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2016. 

Prior to becoming an elections supervisor, he was a radio personality and an award-winning writer and journalist. Ertel spent eight years in the United States Army with service in the U.S., Panama, Berlin and the Balkans, among others. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/OLC, Army Achievement Medal w/2OLC, National Defense Service Medal, and the Expert Marksmanship Badge, among others. After the Army, he was in the public affairs field. Ertel served as Seminole County government’s first public information professional, as the director of public relations for a 185-location bank, and conducted post-disaster public relations for VISIT FLORIDA, Florida’s tourism marketing agency. 

Ertel is a highly sought out expert on elections issues, speaking to state, national and international election organizations. He has testified before a United States Senate subcommittee, as well as the State of Texas’ Legislature and the National Conference of State Legislatures on voter identification. He has spoken about election law to conventions of the American Bar Association and the American Association of Political Consultants. Ertel was a featured speaker on military voting rights at the Heritage Foundation, and was the only U.S. representative at the International Electoral Affairs Symposium in London, where he facilitated the discussion on rebuilding voter trust. 

Ertel has twice won International Electoral Awards, in 2013 for rebuilding voter trust, and in 2017 for voter engagement. He was one of ten inaugural recipients of Campaigns and Elections’ Innovator Awards. Ertel has been featured internationally on Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the U.K. Daily Mail. 

Ertel attended the University of Maryland University College and is a graduate of the journalism program at the Defense Information School. Ertel completed the Crummer mini-MBA at Rollins College in 2015. 

Ertel has been awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award by the City of Longwood and was honored by the Seminole County Bar with their inaugural Thomas Jefferson Award. Orlando Life magazine has named him the region’s best elected official. 

Ertel, his wife, Michelle, and their dogs, Winston, Betty and Stanley, live in Geneva. They have two children: Zane, 24, a UCF graduate, and Gillian, 22, also a UCF graduate.