Karla Hernandez-Mats Doubles Down on Saying ‘Sp-Ed’ Experience Makes Her Qualified to Deal With ‘Dysfunctional’ Legislature

By Eric Daugherty, Florida's Voice

September 14, 2022 Updated 4:06 PM ET

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CAPE CORAL (FLV) – After being slammed by Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis for saying being a “sp-ed” teacher and working with “emotionally handicapped” students qualifies her to deal with the GOP Florida legislature, Karla Hernandez-Mats doubled down on the comments.

DeSantis said she was “sickened by callous words from someone who claims to be an advocate for children” in response to Hernandez-Mats’ comments. “Karla, saying children w/ unique abilities are ‘dysfunctional’ & equating them to political opponents is a new low.”

Charlie Crist’s running mate responded: “Wannabe Dictator DeSantis supports Trump who mocks the disabled, fines the Special Olympics & wants to bus Cubans to DE. As an advocate for students, parents, & teachers, I’m exceptionally qualified to deal w/ GOP legislators, except Matt Gaetz, the sex predator you all embrace.”

Hernandez-Mats did not clarify what she means by the DeSantis campaign embracing U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL. Gaetz has not been convicted of a crime related to being a “sexual predator.”

Fox News first reported a video of Hernandez-Mats making the comments at a campaign event in Cape Coral Tuesday.

“I’m a teacher, I am a sp-ed teacher, so my major was emotionally-handicapped education, okay? That by itself qualifies me to deal with the dysfunctional legislature,” Hernandez-Mats said, leading the audience to laugh and applaud.

Democrat nominee for governor Charlie Crist tapped Karla Hernandez-Mats to be his running mate in August.

“Just wow. Sounds like she resented her students,” the DeSantis campaign said on Twitter in response to the video.

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