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She lost her daughter in the Uvalde school shooting. Now she’s running for mayor

"This is only the beginning," says Kimberly Mata-Rubio.

A mom who lost her daughter in the 2022 mass shooting inside Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School is running for mayor of the city.

Kimberly Mata-Rubio has been an outspoken gun control advocate ever since her daughter, forever 10-year-old Alexandria Aniyah “Lexi” Rubio, was shot and killed inside her fourth grade class, alongside two teachers and 18 of her fellow classmates.

"I grieve for the woman you would have become and all the difference you would have made in this world," Mata-Rubio, a mother of five, tweeted on Thursday, announcing her mayoral run.

"I grieve for the woman I was when you were still here. But, one part of me still exist(s), I am still your mom. I will honor your life with action. This is only the beginning." reached out to Mata-Rubio for comment, but did not hear back at the time of publication.

In addition, Mata-Rubio tweeted a picture of herself, showcasing a memorial tattoo she has in honor of her slain daughter. She also shared a photo of a news article published in the local newspaper Uvalde Leader-News, highlighting Mata-Rubio's decision to enter local politics.

“It would be easy to run from the issues that plague our town, but I have decided to remain in Uvalde and be part of the change that is long overdue,” Mata-Rubio told the Uvalde Leader-News. “Our town has become stagnant. Our leadership became comfortable, which led to the events that unfolded on May 24, 2022.

"The aftermath has added to the trauma of a grieving and fractured community," she added. "It is my hope to bridge the gap because only when we come together can we evolve to something greater.”

Hundreds of law enforcement officers waited to confront the 18-year-old shooter armed with an AR-15 style weapon for over an hour on May 24, 2022, documents show. Texas officials later testified that officers could have stopped the gunman within three minutes had they properly responded, concluding that some of the lives lost could have been saved.

If elected, Mata-Rubio would become the first woman and third Hispanic mayor of Uvalde, the local newspaper reports.

Image: Alexandria "Lexi" Aniyah Rubio.
Alexandria "Lexi" Aniyah Rubio.Courtesy Kimberly Mata-Rubio

Earlier this year, the Uvalde City Council approved a mayoral special election after the city's current mayor, Don McLaughlin, announced he will run for the Texas House of Representatives, local news KSAT reports.

McLaughlin was serving as mayor when the mass shooting at Robb Elementary school occurred.

The special election is scheduled to take place on Nov. 7, 2023.

Mata-Rubio joins Cody Smith, a senior vice president at the First State Bank of Uvalde, in the mayoral race, the Uvalde Leader-News reports.

Smith previously held the post and was mayor from 2008 to 2012.

According to her obituary, 10-year-old Lexi was "driven, athletic, intelligent and fun."

Like her mom, she was motivated by snacks, her obituary says, and loved pasta with Alfredo sauce, a "Starbucks sweetened tall peach green tea lemonade paired with a cake pop," and her signature "Lexi burger" — a McDonald's cheeseburger, plain and dry, served with nuggets and fries inside the burger.

Mata-Rubio also announced her mayoral campaign on TikTok with a simple video, showing the same picture and local newspaper clipping.

She captioned the video with just five words: "They're not listening. Get louder."