Despite anger over school shooting, Uvalde residents vote to keep state GOP in power | Media Pyro

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After the mass shooting at Uvalde Elementary School in May, angry Texans blamed state leaders and gun policies in part for the massacre.

On Tuesday, however, the anger that still lingers for some in the small community did not translate into the election that saw incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott win Uvalde County over his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke. The county voted overwhelmingly to retain Republicans Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The results have sparked anger among some parents who lost children at Robb Elementary School that day when 19 children and two school teachers were killed by an 18-year-old gunman. The gunman was at the school for more than an hour before law enforcement officers confronted him and eventually shot him dead.

“I wanted to send a message, and instead, the state of Texas sent me a message: My daughter’s murder is not enough. Know, you’re with the wrong mother” Tweeted Kimberly Mata-Rubio’s daughter Lexi died in the shooting. “Tonight doesn’t end. I will fight until there is nothing left to give. Lexi’s legacy will change.

Brett Cross, the uncle and guardian of Uziah Garcia, who died in the shooting, joined Mata-Rubio in promising to put pressure on elected officials. Cross was Garcia’s uncle and guardian, but was referred to as his son.

“Disappointment? Yes. Will we stop war altogether? [not]. This lit a big fire under our asses. “I was most disappointed that Uvalde County voted for Abbott,” he said Tweetedand included a photo with the hashtag #Uvaldestrong upside down.

Henry Flores, distinguished university research professor emeritus at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, said that while the shooting was horrific, he was not surprised by the results in Uvalde.

“Given its conservative nature, it makes sense that they would support Abbott,” he said. “On the issue of gun control, you reach rural areas [and] The gun control issue itself is ambiguous. Many people in rural areas own guns. The slightest doubt that someone is going to pass a law to take away their weapons, they will turn on you.

Uvalde’s support for Republicans is not an anomaly. In 2018, in the most recent midterm elections, voters favored Republican US Senator Ted Cruz by 10 percentage points over O’Rourke. Abbott did even better that year: he won the county by more than 20 percentage points. In 2020, former President Donald Trump carried the county by more than 20 percentage points.

Flores said the outrage in Uvalde was not just about gun laws, but the poor response of law enforcement to the shooting. Subsequent investigations showed hundreds of officers waited more than an hour to confront the gunman, and children in a fourth-grade classroom called 911, Texas Public Radio reported. The Texas House report found that more than 370 law enforcement officers were at the scene, including 150 US Border Patrol agents, 91 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, 25 Uvalde police officers, 16 county sheriff’s deputies and five officers from Uvalde Consolidated Independent. School District

“If you look at the families’ complaints about how law enforcement is covering up this issue, they wanted them to get in there and shoot them and get the person out faster than they did,” Flores said. “They did not want to arrest him alive. They complain that action was not taken immediately.

Although Tuesday expected different results, relatives and friends of the victims achieved what they considered partial victories earlier this year. Last month, officials in the Uvalde School District announced they had suspended their police force and placed two top officers on administrative leave.

In August, school district police chief Pete Arredondo was fired for his role in the response.

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Got a tip? Email Julian Aguilar at [email protected]. You can follow Julian on Twitter @nachoaguilar

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