UVALDE, Texas — Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin navigated his city through one of the worst tragedies in Texas history, and now he has his sights set on the Texas House.

What You Need To Know

  • Uvalde, Texas, Mayor Don McLaughlin on Friday announced he is seeking the open seat in Texas House District 80

  • Democratic state Rep. Tracy King earlier this week announced he will not seek reelection 

  • McLaughlin, a Republican, has been mayor of Uvalde since 2014

  • He helped navigate Uvalde through the deadliest mass school shooting in Texas history 

McLaughlin, a Republican, on Friday announced he’s running Texas House District 80. Democratic state Rep. Tracy King earlier this week announced he will not seek reelection.

“Entering this race was a no brainer for me. I have and will always protect and serve the people of Uvalde. We have a crisis in Austin. Out of touch members of the establishment class have been ignoring the concerns of everyday Texans,” McLaughlin wrote in a news release announcing his candidacy. “Property tax relief, school choice, foreign land ownership, border control-- these are all issues that should have been dealt with sessions ago. I am entering this race to be a strong voice for the people of District 80. I have fought them before, I am fighting for them today and I will continue to fight for them and the issues they care about most in Austin,” said McLaughlin.

First elected mayor of Uvalde in 2014, McLaughlin was reelected in 2016, 2018 and 2020, when he won his first four-year term as mayor.

The May 24, 2022, mass shooting was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, claiming the lives of 19 students and two teachers.

Shortly after the shooting, when former Democratic congressman and candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke interrupted a press conference by Gov. Greg Abbott and others in protest, McLaughlin fired back at O’Rourke, calling him a “sick son of a [expletive].”

“I am proud of my leadership and service to the people of Uvalde. I am honored to have gained the trust of my constituents for nearly a decade. I look forward to serving them in Austin and having their support in the upcoming 2024 election,” McLaughlin said.