Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter was killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting nearly 18 months ago, lost her bid to become Uvalde's new mayor in a special election Tuesday. Voters elected Cody Smith, who formerly held the position, by a nearly two-thirds majority. Mata-Rubio earned 33% of the votes. Mata-Rubio emerged from the tragedy as a fierce advocate for stricter gun control. Mata-Rubio said her motive for running was to honor her late daughter, Lexi, and to represent underserved residents while propelling Uvalde to economic success.
Mata-Rubio told The Texas Tribune she was disappointed by the election results, but she looks forward to working with Smith to unite the community. Supporters of Mata-Rubio said they feel as if some Uvalde residents are eager to move on too quickly, or are even attempting to push the massacre under the rug. Those advocates saw Mata-Rubio as a strong candidate who would have continued to hold leaders accountable and ensure the shooting doesn’t fade from memory. Mata-Rubio had never run for political office and was not politically active prior to the school shooting. In comparison, Smith was first elected to City Council in 1994 and also served two terms as mayor in 2008 and 2010.
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