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Uvalde Mayor Resigns Abruptly, Citing Medical Concerns

The Daily Beast/The City of Uvalde
The Daily Beast/The City of Uvalde

Cody Smith, the mayor of Uvalde, Texas, announced his resignation on Monday, citing recent and unspecified medical issues.

“I want to thank members of the Uvalde community for their thoughts and prayers during my ongoing recovery from unexpected medical issues I have experienced in recent weeks,” he said in a statement. “After much consultation and prayer, I have decided to resign as Mayor of the City of Uvalde to focus on my health.

“It has been a great honor to serve the city and community I love, and I have great confidence that Mayor Pro-Tem Everardo Zamora will serve with honor until the next mayor is elected on November 5, 2024.”

His resignation came the day before a City Council meeting, according to Texas news station KSAT, which reported that last week’s meeting had been postponed over Smith’s health.

Last month also saw the departure of Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez, a law enforcement veteran who announced his own resignation days after an independent investigation cleared his department of wrongdoing in its response to the May 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. Rodriguez’ resignation will go into effect on Friday.

Born and raised in Uvalde, Smith served as the city’s mayor from 2008 to 2012. Last summer, he announced he would run to reclaim his old seat in the community’s first mayoral race since the shooting. The special election had been called after the then-mayor, Don McLaughlin, announced his resignation to run for the Texas House. At the time, Smith was working in the private sector as a senior vice president at First State Bank of Uvalde.

“I want to see Uvalde continue to grow and prosper,” he said in his campaign announcement.

Smith’s campaign focused on his long civic track record—he was first elected to the City Council in 1994, and served on it for 13 years—and the need to bring the community together. In November, he was elected with 65 percent of the vote, scoring a landslide victory over Kimberly Mata-Rubio, a gun control advocate and the mother of one of the 19 students killed at Robb Elementary.

“I’m just looking forward to representing this entire community,” he told Texas Public Radio after his win.

Smith’s term had been set to end this year, with another election for a full four-term set to be held.

After her defeat, Mata-Rubio said that she would consider running again, according to TPR. “I’ll never stop fighting for you, Lexi,” she tweeted at the time. “I meant it when I said this was only the beginning. After all, I’m not a regular mom. I’m Lexi’s mom.”

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