Cody Smith expected to become the next mayor of Uvalde, Texas

Tuesday's vote was Uvalde's first mayoral election since the May 2022 massacre when a gunman killed 19 young students and two teachers.
Posted at 11:25 AM, Nov 07, 2023

Cody Smith is expected to clinch election as the new mayor of Uvalde, Texas, in a special election after Kimberly Mata-Rubio conceded defeat on Tuesday night.

Smith previously served as mayor back in 2008 and was re-elected in 2010.  

Smith, who has over a decade of experience on the city council, defeated Kimberly Mata-Rubio, who lost her 10-year-old daughter in the school shooting, and Veronica Martinez, an elementary school teacher in Uvalde.  

It was the first time the city chose its mayor since the May 2022 massacre when a teenage gunman killed 19 young students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.  

Smith has spent 17 years on the city’s council, with four of those years as the city’s mayor. He is senior vice president at First State Bank of Uvalde with 35 years of experience in investments and banking, according to local newspaper Uvalde Leader-News.

“I was born and raised in Uvalde and have served this community in the past,” Smith told Uvalde Leader-News before the election. “I want to see Uvalde continue to grow and prosper.” 

Meet the 3 candidates running for mayor in Uvalde, Texas
Uvalde mayoral candidate Kimberly Mata-Rubio canvasses a neighborhood in support of her campaign.

Meet the 3 candidates running for mayor in Uvalde, Texas

A former mayor, a teacher, and the mother of a 10-year-old school shooting victim in Uvalde are vying for the mayoral seat.


All eyes were on underdog Mata-Rubio during the race, who vowed to turn the grief of losing her daughter, Lexi Rubio, into action. Since the tragedy, she has been outspoken about stricter gun laws, including helping to launch the nonprofit Lives Robbed, which pushes for more gun control.  

"Nothing changes as far as the local level," Mata-Rubio told Scripps News in an interview on Tuesday night. "I'm going to continue to fight for transparency and accountability, and holding officials responsible that day accountable. As far as state, federal level — again, still advocating for change to help save lives in Lexi's honor."

Some Uvalde residents told NPR before the elections they didn’t want to be remembered as the town with the mass shooting.  

Martinez had a similar agenda to Mata-Rubio and had some leadership experience after serving as village mayor on a military base in Colorado, according to the Uvalde Leader-News.  

Some Uvalde voters told Scripps News before the election that Smith seemed like the ideal candidate because of his years of leadership experience in the city.  

The Uvalde City Council approved the mayoral special election back in July after Don McLaughlin stepped down from the seat to run for the Texas House of Representatives.  

McLaughlin served as mayor of Uvalde for nearly a decade, winning reelection three times. He led the community through the aftermath of the mass shooting that devastated their tight-knit city. 

Since there was only one year left in McLaughlin’s term, there will be another mayoral election in 2024.