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Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio loved going to Starbucks and ordering a sweetened tall peach green tea lemonade and a cake pop, showing off bright colors like yellow, pink and turquoise. She wanted to grow up to play softball in college and become a lawyer. But the 10-year-old fourth-grader never got the chance – last May, she was among 21 people killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

Now, her mom is running to be the city’s mayor, saying in a message to her daughter, “I will honor your life with action.” 

“I grieve for the woman you would have become and all the difference you would have made in this world. I grieve for the woman I was when you were still here,” Kimberly Mata-Rubio wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday, along with a photo of a newspaper article announcing her mayoral run. “But, one part of me still exist, I am still your mom.” 

10-year-old Lexi Rubio was among the young victims of the Uvalde school shooting

According to Uvalde Leader-News, the 34-year-old mother of five will run for the mayoral seat this November. Mata-Rubio has lived in the city her entire life, graduating from Uvalde High School in 2007. She’s also an award-winning journalist, the local paper – where she is employed as an advertising executive – says. 

Mata-Rubio told the paper that she wants to “represent the underserved…whose voices matter but have long been unheard.” 

“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 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. It is my hope to bridge the gap because only when we come together can we evolve to something greater.”

Her daughter, Lexi, was among the 19 children killed at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. Just hours before the shooting unfolded, Mata-Rubio was at the school as Lexi was recognized for getting on the “A” honor roll and was awarded the “good citizen award.” 

“We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school,” Mata-Rubio wrote on Facebook the day after the shooting. “We had no idea this was goodbye.”

In her first run for an elected office position, Mata-Rubio is seeking to take the seat left by Don McLaughlin, who has served as the city’s mayor since 2014. He announced earlier this month that he is stepping down to run for the District 80 state House seat, according to The Texas Tribune. The city is now planning a special election this November for his replacement, according to the San Antonio Express-News

If elected, the Uvalde Leader-News says Mata-Rubio would be the first woman and third Hispanic mayor of the city.