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Florida’s Democratic Party needs a mental health counselor

Just when you think the Democrats in Florida have hit rock bottom, they somehow manage to prove us wrong. 

After the 2018 election that saw Ron Desantis elected governor and Rick Scott elected to the U.S. Senate, the Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum decided to drown his sorrows at a Miami Beach hotel with drugs, alcohol and male escorts. Perhaps the FBI investigation involving Broadway show tickets revealed more than we knew. Gillum was subsequently indicted for his shenanigans as Tallahassee mayor.

Their lone statewide elected official Nikki Fried embarrassed herself during the COVID lockdowns by traveling to Atlanta to do a CNN interview when non-essential travel was being discouraged. And just a month later, she was involved in a domestic altercation with her fiancé at a South Florida Mexican restaurant after too many margaritas. 

This is the same marijuana executive fiancé who illegally bought her a $700,000 house in Tallahassee. Luckily for Floridians, with her defeat in the Democratic primary, we will no longer have to hear her complain incessantly about Governor Desantis.

This year, the leader of the State House Democrats, Rep. Ramon Alexander, resigned after credible allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed a male employee at Florida A&M University. The employee had been fired for reporting the harassment. I bet he and his attorney will be getting a huge settlement from the taxpayers on that one. These incidents alone might make you think, the Democrats in Florida have hit rock bottom.

Then Charlie Crist tells them all to hold his beer. 

With the selection of his running mate, Karla Hernández-Mats, the Democrat party will see itself sinking into an abyss that, with any luck for Floridians, they can never pull themselves out of. 

The Desantis campaign, which already looks unbeatable, is salivating over this misstep.

Who is Karla Hernández-Mats? She is the President of the United Teachers of Dade, the designated union for 30,000 teachers and other school employees working for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 

Hernández-Mats was referred to as Karla Marx when in 2016 she mourned the death of Fidel Castro. She fought against the governor’s efforts to keep schools open and led a parade of hearses to protest the governor in the streets of Miami. She denounced the parents who came to Miami-Dade School Board meetings to protest mask mandates and compared them to serial killers.

Hernández-Mats openly supports the tenets of Critical Race Theory, and has shared information comparing the phrase “Make America Great Again” to making racial slurs and burning crosses. And while there is no way that Crist can hide her ideology as it is plastered all over her social media accounts, it is her record as the Union President that should concern voters the most.

As President of United Teachers of Dade, she staunchly defended a teacher credibly accused of

assaulting multiple students at a Miami-Dade public school. Wendell Nibbs is currently serving an eight year prison term for pleading guilty to raping five students at Brownsville Middle School. That’s right, middle school! 

The school system attempted to cover up the scandal and had to settle with the girls and their families for $10 million. Nibbs was in the leadership of the UTD teachers’ union and Hernández-Mats declared that all UTD teachers are presumed safe and qualified unless a court of law says otherwise.

Just 10 days prior to his arrest in 2017, she was photographed with him at a UTD function. During his 15 years in the school district, he had nine different students accuse him of sexual misconduct. The powerful teachers union protected him, and each of these student allegations were said to be unfounded.

While Hernández-Mats will claim that it is her job to protect the teachers who are part of the union, why was it not her job to protect those young middle school girls who were sexually assaulted? The behavior of UTD under the leadership of Hernández-Mats is nothing short of disgusting and people of all political stripes should be outraged that the Democratic Party in Florida thinks that someone who enables pedophiles deserves to be on the ballot in our state. 

Assistant dogcatcher of Glades County is too high an office for the dumpster diver on the Democratic ticket for the Florida Governor’s race. And don’t let anyone tell you that Charlie Crist is a moderate because his choice for running mate tells you all you need to know about his agenda.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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