Florida Education Association applauds Charlie Crist’s running mate pick
Karla Hernandez-Mats. Image via Facebook.

Karla Hernandez-Mats
"By choosing Karla Hernandez, Crist makes clear that he values Florida’s students and respects our educators.”

The Florida Education Association is applauding U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist for his selection of Karla Hernandez-Mats as his running mate.

Crist, who is running against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for the role of Governor, announced Hernandez-Mats as his pick for Lieutenant Governor Saturday morning. The FEA immediately praised the decision, saying it reaffirmed Crist’s support for Florida’s students, educators and public schools.

“We’re thrilled by Charlie Crist’s choice,” FEA President Andrew Spar said in a statement. “Karla Hernandez will be a great lieutenant governor for all the people of Florida. She’s a mom with two kids in our public schools, a teacher focused on students with special needs, and cares deeply about children, families and communities. By choosing Karla Hernandez, Crist makes clear that he values Florida’s students and respects our educators.”

The FEA joined the Florida AFL-CIO in endorsing Crist back in May, highlighting his education priorities. The addition of Hernandez-Mats to his team further cements support from the education community.

Hernandez-Mats is the president of the United Teachers of Dade, overseeing the operations of the largest labor union in the Southeast United States in the fourth-largest school district nationwide. The National Education Association announced their support of Hernandez-Mats as Crist’s pick earlier.

The former teacher also serves on the FEA Governance Board and Executive Cabinet, the Florida AFL-CIO’s executive board, the Children’s Trust’s executive board and the Education Fund’s executive board. She is also a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

In 2010, she was selected as Teacher of the Year at Hialeah Middle School in Miami-Dade County for her work with special needs children.

It’s a pivotal time for education, with most conservatives and progressive split on where the power should rest when it comes to school safety, education on sex and gender identity, and how racism and slavery should be taught.

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.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Tom

    August 27, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    Hmm, smells like a payoff!
    Gov. DeSantis/Legislature raised educators, staffs pay. With bonus. NEA/FEA sued over Covid, schools being open.
    Hurry, Hurry order a DOJ investigation.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 27, 2022 at 5:00 pm

      ^ Pro crime sociopath..

    • James Madison

      August 28, 2022 at 2:30 pm

      He raised their pay from $40k to $47K and lowered the requirements to become a teacher from a masters to a GED. Teachers in Md make more than double that. So there’s that.

  • Yep

    August 27, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Wow, thanks so much for pointing out Desantis has raised Florida’s average teacher pay all the way up to 48th in the nation. What an accomplishment.
    Tom, turn off the Fox news and read a book or something. Florida’s teacher shortage is among the worst in the nation. The problem has gotten worse with Desantis at the helm. Time for Florida to go in a different direction.

    • Tom

      August 27, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Total ignant yep, he and legislature raised twice with bonuses. Full stop.
      Facts are funny things.

      Best Gov on education.
      The national teacher shortage is much worse elsewhere. About 15 states are worse. Florida is filling them.

      You are not in my league yep.
      I am the DP legend. Nice try.

      • Ocean Joe

        August 27, 2022 at 6:48 pm

        The legend has spoken, but now he is the DP legend. Diaper politics? Just kidding. Have to actually agree with you both, teachers are quitting in droves, pay is pathetic, the profession is dishonored by rightwing smears and “surveys” more suitable to the Third Reich or Stalin.
        Now, somebody (Charlie) picked a virtual unknown as a running mate, he’s got some ‘splaining to do.
        Another term of Desantis and Florida will be sued by Mississippi for stealing it’s identity.

        • Tom

          August 28, 2022 at 8:25 am

          Ocean, do you realize how damaging Weingarten, NEA president has committed in refusing to support re opening blue state schools? Her abysmal conduct in support of Dem Govs. She campaigned for McAulife in VA. It’s a Dem organ pac. NEA/FEA sued Florida DeSantis, they lost.

          Apparently, this extremist,Hernandez Mats is the VP to Weingarten. Mats was soundly defeated by Govs candidates.

          Weingarten attacked parents at school board meetings. She went to Jill Biden and turned govts against parents. Educators cause of their political leadership are not respected.

          Parents found out about the far left cultural teachings, it’s being pushed back against.

          She offers nothing as candidate. Much more qualified were ignored.
          Thank you chameleon.

          • James Madison

            August 28, 2022 at 2:35 pm

            Cool story Bro.

      • James Madison

        August 28, 2022 at 2:33 pm

        So he raised pay. How much did he raiser pay? From $40k to $47k. Still at the bottom of one of the worst states for teacher pay. He also lowered the requirement from a masters to a GED. If thats the only way he can attract teachers, he needs to go.

    • Tom

      August 28, 2022 at 8:08 am

      Total ignant yep, he and legislature raised twice with bonuses. Full stop.
      Facts are funny things.

      Best Gov on education. The national teacher shortage is much worse elsewhere.

      • Tom

        August 28, 2022 at 5:35 pm

        Shut the hell up. You coward fake moniker. Janet Madison, sound like sally dim wit.
        I kick all you soros Manchurian ass to the curb.
        Ungrateful ingrates.
        Two raises, two bonuses.
        Shove it up pie hole!

  • tom palmer

    August 27, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    It looks like the MAG(A)OTTS are getting scared.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 27, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      Really? Not concerned at all. DeSantis will be re-elected. Of course the zombies here in The People’s Republic of Broward County would vote for Andrew Gillum again if given a chance. Let’s see four members of the Broward County School Board we’re just removed and we have Miriam Oliphant and Brenda Snipes ex supervisor of elections here in Broward removed as well. This is a breading ground for Democrat sleeze balls.

      • Charlie Crist

        August 27, 2022 at 5:02 pm

        Trump supporters are biggest sleeze balls in human history. Trumpism is a criminal movement…

  • N.O. Difrunce

    August 27, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    “Florida Education Association applauds Charlie Crist’s running mate pick”

    Well why not? Hell, he could have picked Don Corleone and gotten the applause of Sicilian bagmen. What’s the difference?

  • marylou

    August 28, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Maybe if desantis stopped behaving like a sociopath, callously spewing terms like “groomer” and “grooming”– sounding like a cheerleader for Team Hell, Florida might be able to attract professionals rather that college dropouts. He is showing a complete lack of concern and compassion for children who suffered abuse and were victims of real grooming, not campaign slogan “grooming”. What teacher wouldn’t be disgusted!

  • Tom

    August 28, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    You were groomed may who to be a midnight pool girl!
    Your abortion hands drip blood.
    Go abort a 9th term or after birth you extremist.

Comments are closed.


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