Crist will choose the head of the Miami teachers’ union as his running mate
« To like! » said Sen. Shev Jones (D-Miami) in a text. “I think it’s a thoughtful and brilliant decision. Karla has ALWAYS listened to people, and she’s a natural energizer. Excellent choice ! »
Florida Sen. Jason Pizzo, also a Democrat from Miami, described her as « brilliant, warm and tough. »
Since 2016, Hernández-Mats has served as president of United Teachers of Dade, which bills itself as the largest teachers’ union in the Southeast. She also sits on the governance board of the Florida Education Association, which is the state’s largest teachers’ union.
FEA support for Crist played a pivotal role in the primary. The organization not only endorsed it, but pushed the rest of the state’s labor organization to follow suit with a primary endorsement, even though some were unwilling to endorse before the general election. This led to a contested bout at the AFL-CIO Summer Convention in Orlando, which Crist ultimately won.
“We are delighted with the choice of Charlie Crist as running mate. Karla Hernández-Mats will be an excellent Lieutenant Governor of and for all the people of Florida,” said Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar. « She is a mother of two in our public schools, a teacher who focuses on students with special needs and cares deeply about children, families and communities. »
Crist’s choice ensures that education will remain at the forefront of the race, especially since schools have been at the center of DeSantis’ politics and political agenda. Democrats have been hyper-critical of DeSantis as he worked to overhaul Florida’s education system, including championing legislation banning teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms class through third grade, exercising scrutiny over textbook approval and hammering out critical race. theory, an academic philosophy that focuses on systemic racism. DeSantis opposes teaching him in public schools from K-12 even though he doesn’t, and his administration has paid $700,000 to a company that, as part of its business model, teaches governments how to incorporate CRT.
In addition to focusing on education as governor, DeSantis is the first governor in state history to become heavily involved in local school board races, which are nonpartisan by law. At least 20 of the 30 school board candidates supported by DeSantis won their Tuesday night contests.
Education issues have energized Republican voters, so the party is eager to highlight them in the race for governor.
« Charlie Crist’s Lt. Governor’s choice is as tone deaf as the Democratic message here in Florida, » said Evan Power, a Florida Republican official. « Somehow he thinks picking a union boss who once likened parents to gun-toting monsters will help him with Florida voters. »