Crist officially named Hernandez-Mats to be his running mate

Published: August 27, 2022 6:08 PM EDT
Updated: August 27, 2022 8:14 PM EDT

Democrat Charlie Crist officially named Karla Hernandez-Mats to be his running mate in the race against Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida.

He made the announcement at Hialeah Middle School where Hernandez-Mats worked for more than 10 years teaching children with special needs.

Hernandez-Mats was born and raised in Miami and is a first-generation Honduran.

She’s been president of the United Teachers of Dade since 2016.

Crist was elected Florida education commissioner as a republican in 2000 and often talks about the impact of teachers on his life.

During his announcement, Crist said Hernandez-Mats is more than a teacher.

“She wasn’t just a teacher. She was a teacher of special needs children. That’s a hard, caring, loving, empathetic, compassionate. That’s what we don’t have in the governor’s office right now. And that’s what you deserve to have in the governor’s office,” Crist said.

Hernandez-Mats also gave a statement after the announcement.

“We’re here in the classroom because we are a microcosm, and that’s the beauty of public education. Every teacher and every student in our classrooms comes from the community. So we have kids that are children of electrical workers, bus drivers sitting next to two children of parents who are lawyers, or engineers, and we’re all doing it together,” Hernandez-Mats said.

Republicans across the country believe education is a winning issue for them.

Desantis has made what he calls “Parental rights” a cornerstone of his campaign and has aggressively pushed legislation to limit what can be taught, or even discussed in the classroom.