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The Mayoral Candidate Of Uvalde, Whose Daughter Was Murdered In An Elementary School Shooting, Is Not Elected

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Former mayor Cody Smith defeated Kimberly Mata-Rubio on Tuesday in Uvalde’s first mayoral contest since the Robb Elementary School massacre. Mata-Rubio is a mother who has spearheaded advocacy for stricter gun control laws after her daughter was one of the 19 children slain in the 2022 assault.

What Happened?

Mata-Rubio ran on a platform of bringing the little town together, which is still deeply divided, and he pushed Uvalde officials for answers and openness in the wake of the massacre. One of the most vocal people in Uvalde and a strong supporter of tougher gun regulations was added to the ballot by her candidacy.

Instead, Smith—who was mayor of Uvalde for two terms more than ten years ago—was elected by the voters. Smith, a manager at a nearby bank, was the mayor of Uvalde until 2012. On its Facebook page, his campaign advocated for neighborhood unity without specifically mentioning the shooting.

Mata-Rubio, 34, has criticized the indecisive police response at the school and spoke before Congress in favor of stricter gun laws. “Lives Robbed” is a nonprofit organization she helped start that advocates for tougher gun control legislation.

Case Under Criminal Investigation

Uvalde

Source: CNN

She used to be a reporter for the community newspaper, the Uvalde News-Leader. Her 10-year-old daughter Lexi’s favorite color is yellow, so she used that hue for her campaign placards.

The campaigns exposed the differences in Uvalde between the people who claim they want to move on from the tragedy and the others who continue to demand explanations and responsibility. The sluggish police reaction at Robb Elementary, where hundreds of cops raced to the school on May 24, 2022, but hesitated for nearly an hour before confronting the gunman, is still under criminal investigation.

Smith will take over for Mayor Don McLaughlin, who is stepping down to run as a Republican for a seat in the Texas Legislature and accused state police of a cover-up and blame shifting for their failure to confront the gunman sooner.

The elementary school’s site is currently closed indefinitely. The city of Uvalde started construction on a new school last month.

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