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HomeLive NewsCrist Announces Miami-Dade Teachers’ Union President Karla Hernandez-Mats as Running Mate –...

Crist Announces Miami-Dade Teachers’ Union President Karla Hernandez-Mats as Running Mate – NBC4 Washington

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist announced Saturday that has chosen United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats as his running mate in the upcoming election against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.

The announcement was made at Hialeah Middle School where Hernandez-Mats taught children with special needs for 10 years and was onced named “Teacher of the Year.”

During the announcement Crist called his running mate, “caring, loving, empathetic, and compassionate.”

“That’s what we don’t have in the governor’s office right now,” Crist said. “And that’s what you deserve to have in the governor’s office.”

A proud daughter of immigrants, Hernandez-Mats is a first-generation American. Her parents migrated to the U.S. from Honduras and settled in Hialeah.

“My mom and dad taught me the value of hard work and the opportunity that it brings,” Hernandez-Mats said. “He worked hard his whole life and taught me to do the same, and I follow his example. It’s called ‘the American dream.'”

Following her teaching career, Hernandez-Mats was elected president of United Teachers of Dade, the largest teachers’ union in the southeastern United States, according to their website.

Crist is expected to face off with DeSantis on November 8th and on Saturday, he called the incumbent, “the opposite of freedom.”

We want actual freedom for the people of Florida,” Crist said. “Under DeSantis, he says we’re the freest state in the country. Well, evidently not if you’re a woman and want the right to choose, or an African-American and want access to vote.

During his announcement Saturday, Crist declared that, if elected, on his first day in office his administration will sign an executive order protecting a woman’s right to choose.

Hernandez-Mats has also been a vocal critic of DeSantis and his COVID-19 policies, including the reopening of schools and masking.

DeSantis’ political operation successfully supported many school board candidates in the August primary, including in Miami-Dade.

The Florida governor has also recently made national headlines by using culture war issues to propel himself to prominence in the Republican party, including signing the Parental Rights in Education bill, a controversial measure dubbed by critics the “Don’t Say Gay” bill which bans the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through 3rd grade, or “in a manner not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

South Florida is going to be a key battleground this November.

Republican voters from northern states are moving and retiring to Florida. South Florida Republicans also have put in years of work in Miami-Dade county, driving more voters to pick the GOP at the ballot box. Those are two factors behind the fact that there are now more registered Republicans in the state than registered Democrats.

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