Uvalde mayor abruptly resigns ahead of a council vote on shooting report

Cody Smith, who defeated a Robb Elementary School shooting victim’s parent to become mayor of Uvalde, Texas, last year, abruptly announced his resignation Monday, effective immediately.

“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,” Smith 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.”

Uvalde’s special mayoral election in November 2023 took place more than a year after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in the deadliest elementary school shooting in Texas history. Smith, a local bank executive who had served as mayor more than 10 years prior, had run on a platform of moving the city forward. He defeated Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose 10-year-old daughter Lexi was killed in the shooting.

Smith was to serve out the remaining year of former Mayor Don McLaughlin’s term after McLaughlin resigned to launch an ultimately successful bid for the Texas House.

Everardo Zamora, mayor pro tem and a City Council member, will serve as Smith’s replacement through November.

Smith did not reveal the nature of his medical issues. His resignation came just one day before the Uvalde City Council was set to vote on whether to accept a report commissioned by the city that cleared several officials of wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the parents of the victims are still searching for accountability. Nearly 400 law enforcement officers responded to the school shooting that day. Still, police lingered outside the classrooms where the gunman had barricaded himself with the children for more than an hour before initiating a confrontation. The chaotic medical response at the scene also impeded emergency treatment that could have saved some lives, according to a joint report from The Texas Tribune, The Washington Post, and ProPublica in December.

There have been a number of investigations into law enforcement’s delayed action, including one that culminated in a scathing report from the Justice Department that found “a cascade of failures” in the police response. A grand jury investigation is underway to determine if any criminal charges will be brought against law enforcement officials — a scenario that The Texas Tribune reported would be unusual.