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Midland Mayor Patrick Payton claims local Jan. 6 rioter is not “a threat to democracy”

In court documents released this week, Payton asked a judge for leniency for Jenny Cudd, one of Midland’s most prominent participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Cudd could face a year in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for her role in the Capitol riot.

By Mitch Borden

Midland Mayor Patrick Payton is asking for leniency for Jenny Cudd, - Midland’s most prominent January 6th Capitol riot defendant.

Cudd, a Midland business owner and vocal participant of the Capitol mob, pled guilty to a misdemeanor for her role in the insurrection. Just hours after entering the Capitol building, she posted a video on Facebook, proclaiming “I f**king charged the Capitol with patriots today. Hell yes, I’m proud of my actions.”

She is currently awaiting sentencing but could face up to a year in jail.

In court documents released Wednesday, Payton and other supporters of Cudd asked the judge overseeing the case to spare her any further punishment for her actions during the Capitol insurrection, claiming she’d been through enough in the past year.

In a letter vouching for Cudd’s character, Payton referred to her as a friend who “has suffered enough” as a result of her role in the Capitol riot and asked the court to not punish her further.

Cudd is the owner of a flower shop and onetime political rival of Payton’s. She unsuccessfully ran against him in Midland’s 2019 mayoral race. Even though she lost that election, she stayed very active in local politics opposing mask mandates and being an advocate for the rights of gun owners.

Payton, who recently announced his reelection campaign for mayor, wrote in his letter to the court that the actions taken by Cudd and other protestors on Jan. 6 were not in the best interest of the public. However, he said, that “does not make her a threat to democracy.”

Cudd is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23. Prosecutors are requesting that Cudd be sentenced to 75 days in jail, one year of supervised release, 60 hours of community service, and $500 restitution.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.