National Education Association lauds Charlie Crist’s Karla Hernandez-Mats pick
Karla Hernandez-Mats and Charlie Crist. Image via AP.

Karla Hernandez-Mats Charlie Crist
‘Charlie Crist and Karla Hernández will be a breath of fresh air in Tallahassee.’

The nation’s largest labor union, the National Education Association (NEA), is praising U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s decision to select Karla Hernández-Mats as his running mate.

Crist formally announced Saturday that Hernández-Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade, will join him on November’s Democratic ticket against Gov. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez. The nod from NEA, of which Hernández-Mats is also a member, marks a ringing endorsement by teachers and educators for the Democratic ticket against DeSantis’ education agenda.

“Karla Hernández is a mom with two kids in Florida’s public schools, a first-generation American of Honduran descent, a teacher who has partnered with parents and her community to strengthen Florida’s public schools, and a tireless advocate for ensuring every student has the opportunity to grow into their brilliance,” NEA President Becky Pringle said in a statement. “She understands that Florida’s families want the Sunshine State’s leaders to focus on solving the real problems impacting families, including the cost of housing, solving educator shortages so every student can get the one-on-one support they need, and keeping weapons of war out of our schools and off our streets.”

Picking Hernández-Mats demonstrated Crist’s respect for educators, Pringle continued.

“For the last four years, Ron DeSantis has failed Florida’s students, parents, and educators,” she said. “He continues to underfund our public schools while using our most venerable students as pawns in his culture wars.”

Pringle also skewered DeSantis over bolstering voucher programs and the state’s teacher shortage, which the Governor has attempted to address by increasing teacher pay and a proposed plan to fast-track veterans and first responders into the education profession.

“Charlie Crist and Karla Hernández will be a breath of fresh air in Tallahassee, which is why educators and parents across Florida are so excited about this ticket,” Pringle said.

Florida Republicans have started drilling into Hernández-Mats’ record already. The Republican Party of Florida issued a statement Friday railing Crist for picking her, calling it “another slap in the face to Florida parents.”

In the past 24 hours, Christina Pushaw, the DeSantis campaign’s director of rapid response, has shared Hernández-Mats’ comments on former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, school board meeting protesters and COVID-19 lockdowns, clear signs of the coming attack lines against the Democratic ticket.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Senora G

    August 27, 2022 at 11:51 am

    So we’re supposed to believe that if Charlie gets elected then becomes I’ll or incapacitated, she can lead Florida’s executive branch? Better than any Democrat state rep or senator? No way.

    • Karla Hernandez

      August 27, 2022 at 11:54 am

      Yes I can.

  • Charlie Crist

    August 27, 2022 at 11:53 am

    We love you Karla. We have a neo nazi problem in Florida. Need far left sledge hammer blows throughout the panhandle all the way to Jacksonville…then all the way down the east coast. Drive the hogs into the ocean and free the people from far right death grip. Nuke The Villages…

    • No teacher union governor

      September 6, 2022 at 12:21 pm

      No we have incompetent democrats in the state of Florida. RED WAVE!!-

  • Tom

    August 27, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Chameleons bonehead and miserable decision falls under the category of doubling down to help your opponent.

    Not only does this selection not pass the smell test, it fails to demonstrate competent governance. It’s extra narrow and pandering to a very far left element. To think all educators vote in unison is crazy. DeSantis will get a strong percentage of educators vote.

    America’s Gov, Gov DeSantis/legislature raised educators pay twice, with bonuses.

    NEA and FEA fought schools being opened, they sued, they lost.

    CRT and other cultural issues have been rammed through previously. No longer.

    Enunciating cultural, social issues over basic education skills is abominable!

    Hernandez-Matz apparently is devoted to socialism. She got her clock cleaned locally Tuesday. This is so stupid! There were other more competent to select from.

    Having NEA and FEA as your badge of support is politically radioactive.

    Thank you chameleon. LMAO.

  • Tom

    August 27, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Disastrous decision.
    What a joke.
    DeSantis will send a thank you contribution to them. 4 more years.

    • marylou

      August 27, 2022 at 12:54 pm

      Independent and No Party Affiliation voters are supporting Crist. Parents are rejecting the cruelty of Desantis as he imposes an abortion ban that doesn’t even protect 10 year old rape and incest victims. This is not what parents want for their daughters. Real PARENTS RIGHTS means being free of the government dictating their family’s personal lives.

      • D. A. Word

        August 29, 2022 at 8:09 pm

        All those girls who screwed their way through the ’70s and ’80s are grandmothers now, and their word is “like hell you’re aborting my grand baby.”

  • tom palmer

    August 27, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    I was impressed that she responded quickly to the maggots.

  • SoFlo Educator

    August 28, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    So Karla has done nothing to restore the salary steps where some teachers with 16-22 years are $10,000-$20,000 underpaid and has a base salary of $2,000-$4,000 more than a brand new teacher and opposes efforts to do so; she can’t maintain membership as more than half of teachers are not union members as clerical, security, and substitutes barely put them between 50-51% density to avoid decertification; and most of her endorsements went down in flames last Tuesday. I guess Sorry Charlie rewards failure, and will lose my vote as well as the votes of those teachers and their family members that were financially harmed. Crist slapped veteran teachers of Miami-Dade and Florida, as well as true-blue labor, in the face, and will deservedly go down in flames with this sorry choice of a running mate in two months.

Comments are closed.


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