Kimberly Mata-Rubio, the mother of Lexi Rubio, a young victim of the heart-wrenching Uvalde school shooting, made an emotional announcement on Thursday, declaring her candidacy for Uvalde Mayor.
Her decision comes as the current Mayor, Don McLaughlin, who served for a decade, is stepping down to pursue a state House seat, leaving the mayoral position vacant. A special election on November 7 will determine McLaughlin's successor for the remainder of his term.
Using the social media platform "X" (formerly known as Twitter), Mata-Rubio shared a story about her campaign from the Uvalde Leader News, where she currently holds an advertising executive position. She expressed her profound grief and vowed to honor her daughter's memory through impactful actions.
Lexi Rubio tragically lost her life, along with 18 of her peers and two teachers, during the horrifying incident at Robb Elementary School in May 2022. The aftermath of the shooting was marked with confusion and conflicting reports about the police response, particularly the lengthy time gap before the perpetrator was neutralized by law enforcement.
Mata-Rubio has been at the forefront, demanding clarity from officials and passionately advocating for stricter gun control measures, specifically targeting assault rifles.
She emphasized that Lexi was much more than just a statistic in the spate of gun violence tragedies, describing her as a bright, empathetic young girl with a quiet demeanor but a solid conviction whenever she stood for what was right.
As the city prepares for the special mayoral election, candidates have until September 6 to submit their candidature. Former Uvalde Mayor Cody Smith has expressed interest in re-assuming his role. However, as of Thursday afternoon, Uvalde city secretary Sanchez confirmed the absence of any more applications.
In the aftermath of the tragic incident, Kimberly Mata-Rubio's journey into the political arena embodies resilience and a determined spirit to bring about change in memory of her beloved daughter.
Mata-Rubio's potential election as mayor would mark her as the city's first female and third Hispanic mayor. Additionally, she would become the fifth woman to join the city council. The town, consisting of approximately 15,000 residents, is situated within a county where the Census Bureau approximates over 70 percent of the population to be Hispanic or Latino.
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