Ruth’s List illuminates new angle to Charlie Crist’s running mate, Karla Hernández-Mats
Karla Hernandez-Mats. Image via Facebook.

Karla Hernandez-Mats
The second half of the Democratic ticket was once affiliated with the pro-abortion rights group.

Ruth’s List Florida is celebrating in anticipation of U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s decision to name former board member Karla Hernández-Mats as his running mate.

Crist 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. Hernández-Mats is also a former member of the board of Ruth’s List Florida, an organization dedicated to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights.

“It is an absolute honor for Ruth’s List to endorse former board member Karla Hernandez for Lieutenant Governor,” Emma Collum, Board Chair of Ruth’s List Florida, said in a statement to Florida Politics.

“Karla is an outstanding public servant, who has devoted her time and treasure to the most urgent challenges facing women today, and we are excited to see her make history as the first Democratic woman Lieutenant Governor in Florida.”

Ruth’s List Florida first came out with a statement in support of Hernández-Mats on Friday, when news broke of Crist’s impending choice. Saturday’s statements marked the organization’s official endorsement.

“Karla is an exceptionally effective leader and I’ve been fortunate to see her in action as a member of our board,” said Lucy Sedgwick, president and CEO of Ruth’s List Florida. “Her commitment to our communities, to championing equality, and to protecting reproductive freedom stands in stark contrast to our current state leadership under the DeSantis regime. There could not be more at stake in this election, and the only way we’re going to stop Florida from sliding further backward — and from women from becoming second-class citizens — is to vote for the Crist-Hernandez ticket in November.”

While Hernández-Mats’ background in education and union leadership marks a stark contrast from DeSantis’ education agenda, the Ruth’s List support highlights a new angle against the incumbent Republican Governor.

“Ruth’s List is unmatched when it comes to investing in women candidates in Florida,” Hernández-Mats said. “They understand the importance of building a deep bench of Democratic pro-choice women who can rise through the ranks to the highest levels of government. I was proud to serve on their board, and now I’m proud to have their support in this race.”

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who lost to Crist Tuesday in the contest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, had attacked Crist for his past comments that he is “pro-life.” However, Crist has attempted to prove his pro-abortion rights track record, is another chit in his favor.

“Ruth’s List endorsement of my running mate shows just how committed the Crist-Hernandez ticket is to defending reproductive freedom, and that includes signing an executive order on day one to protect abortion in Florida, said Crist. “This election is a fight for women’s autonomy and the power to make their own reproductive health care decisions. We must stop Ron DeSantis and his dangerous political agenda.”

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, shared Hernández-Mats’ comments on former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, school board meeting protesters and COVID-19 lockdowns, obvious 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.


  • Charlie Crist

    August 27, 2022 at 11:49 am

    Go Charlie! Go Karla! Cubans have been subjected to much neo nazi propaganda. Might have to send a couple back on a neo nazi banana they will appreciate BLUE south Florida much more.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 27, 2022 at 12:21 pm

      You know they fled BLUE Cuba right Charlie / Corsin / Often?

      • Charlie Crist

        August 27, 2022 at 12:27 pm

        Cuba is not blue. You are a lying POS. You gonna burn in hell buddy 🔥

        • Impeach Biden

          August 27, 2022 at 12:43 pm

          Cuba and Venezuela are so BLUE its almost PURPLE.

          • Charlie Crist

            August 27, 2022 at 1:33 pm

            @Impeach: Your brain is almost purple from lack of oxygen…and even then on top of that you are an oxygen thief.

          • James Madison

            August 28, 2022 at 12:01 pm

            You do know what purple means?

      • marylou

        August 27, 2022 at 1:09 pm

        The Mafia/Batista types did flee to Miami. The Cubans remaining on the island are needlessly suffering from a BLOCKADE imposed by the US in a 60 year, failed attempt to starve the people into overthrowing their government. Without US interference in free trade, Cubans would be in a much better position to create whatever type government they choose. LIFT THE BLOCKADE !!!

        • PBinLostAngeles

          August 27, 2022 at 1:29 pm

          Batista and the Castro regime were/are directly responsible for the murder of about 11,000 people and near 80,000 additional, who lost their lives trying to flee Cuba. Do a little reading before you further embarrass yourself.

          • marylou

            August 27, 2022 at 3:19 pm

            Starving people for 60 years is not the answer. LIFT THE BLOCKADE !

  • PeterH

    August 27, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    Brilliant move!

    Let College Students think for themselves. That’s what colleges are all about.

    The Florida legislature should stay laser focused on hiring 9000 elementary and secondary school teachers instead of turning their back on children. Florida is identical to the failed red state of Arizona ……both are hiring college dropouts to fill school vacancies.

    Lacking a comprehensive elementary and secondary Florida education…… Florida students won’t be going to college.

    • Tom

      August 28, 2022 at 7:53 am

      Total liar.
      Florida is hiring new competent educators.
      Dozens of other states have a higher vacancy.
      Gov Ron once again improves situation.
      Mary who is a Marxist, socialist.

      • James Madison

        August 28, 2022 at 12:04 pm

        Florida, in terms of education, is and has been at the bottom in all aspects of education for a very long time. That’s a fact.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 28, 2022 at 9:17 am

      The biggest portion of my property tax bill goes to the public school system. With property values skyrocketing the school system gets more and more. Read what just went down with the school board in Broward County. Mismanagement galore and they are all Democrats.

      • James Madison

        August 28, 2022 at 12:09 pm

        What happened in Broward was dirty politics by DuhSantis. Period. Removing duly elected officials to replace them with HIS boot lickers. Just like the prosecutor. If they are not doing their jobs, then they need to be removed by recall. DuhSantis has been playing dirty politics since he was narrowly elected. Time to change Florida’s vague constitution because both sides will now do the same thing in retaliation. DuhSantis set the mood.

        • Tom

          August 28, 2022 at 5:13 pm

          What happened to you Madison in broward is Gov Kahones busted balls.
          Whiz kid Gov whizzes upon you once again. Enjoy!

    • Tom

      August 28, 2022 at 5:17 pm

      Clueless peter h,
      No facts, no face, just falsification.
      Florida teaching challenge under control, many more states much worse.

  • Tom

    August 28, 2022 at 8:06 am

    Florida has creatively filled vacancies with new.
    You lie on all posts Peter h.
    Several states have more vacancies.

  • SoFlo Educator

    August 28, 2022 at 3:53 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.

    • marylou

      August 28, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      Who needs a nose, anyway?

      • Tom

        August 28, 2022 at 5:10 pm

        Mary who, go abort some babies at 9th month or after. U and you party are extremists.
        Your bloody hands drip all day long.
        You are filth. U Pig.

        • You embarrass yourself

          August 28, 2022 at 8:19 pm

          Your language shows all just how unfit and unacceptable your ilk is to govern a free society.

          • Tom

            August 29, 2022 at 4:38 pm

            U were not aborted either.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn