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When Beto O’Rourke interrupted Texas officials during a Wednesday press conference addressing the Uvalde school shooting, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin quickly stood out of his chair and yelled at the Democratic nominee for Texas governor.
“He needs to get his (expletive) out of here,” McLaughlin said. “This isn’t the place to talk this over.”
An exchange ensued as O’Rourke continued to speak and McLaughlin spoke over him.
“This is totally predictable,” said O’Rourke, a former U.S. representative from El Paso who faces Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in the November election.
“Sir, you are out of line,” McLaughlin said three times. “Please leave this auditorium.”
“I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a (expletive) who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” McLaughlin said.
O’Rourke began to walk away, then paused.
“It’s on you until you choose to do something,” O’Rourke said, surrounded by cameras.
“It’s on (expletives) like you,” McLaughlin said. “Why don’t you get out of here?”
O’Rourke then walked out of the auditorium.
Who is Mayor McLaughlin?
McLaughlin, a Republican, has been mayor of Uvalde since 2014. He ran unopposed in 2016 and 2018, but defeated George Garza, a former Uvalde mayor, in 2020 by 915 votes, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Uvalde is about 80 miles west of downtown San Antonio and about 60 miles north of the nearest United States-Mexico border crossing.
The city is home to about 15,000 people according to U.S. Census data, with about 82% of the population being Hispanic.
McLaughlin has made multiple appearances on Fox News, including on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” primarily discussing immigration. In a September segment, McLaughlin called President Biden’s policy a “clown show.”
McLaughlin has been a critic of Abbott and endorsed former state Sen. Don Huffines in the recent Republican primary for governor.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Abbott said mental health was a cause for the shooting, a sentiment that McLaughlin has echoed. He told Good Morning America that the shooting was not a gun control issue.