• January 18, 2021

West Texans witness history at Capitol - Odessa American: Local News

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West Texans witness history at Capitol

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Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2021 5:59 pm

West Texans were in Washington, D.C., this week to protest the results of the Nov. 3 election and to meet with members of Congress.

Casey Gray, a native of Odessa, said that he in the nation’s Capitol with 200 other Texans. He said he met with five congressmen, including newly elected U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, on Tuesday. Gray said he talked with Pfluger for about an hour.

“99.9% of the crowd were peaceful,” Gray said. “They were peaceful in the sense that they were there to be part of history.”

“On the day of the protest, we were outside of the Capitol in front watching it,” Gray said Thursday.

“It was chaotic scene watching people,” Gray said. “We saw the Capitol Police and they were very professional. They were overwhelmed to be honest.”

Asked if there was any shift in mood between Tuesday and Wednesday, Gray said there wasn't any negativity.

“The people were around the shift was all about the same,” Gray said. “People were just there to be part of history. It was very positive.”

Former Midland mayoral candidate Jenny Cudd said she attended President Trump’s speech early Wednesday morning and then made her way to the Capitol building.

Cudd said she followed a couple people going up the stairs and there was a door that was open that people were going in and that’s how she got inside.

She said the question the media isn’t asking is why 75 million are upset and she claims that the election was stolen.

“I personally didn’t break anything,” Cudd said. “I didn’t break down any doors. I didn’t do anything violent. No one that I saw had any weapons of any sort.”

Asked whether she is worried about the FBI, Cudd said she is not “because because I know I didn’t break the law,” Cudd said. “I know there are plenty of people in Midland and Odessa that have already turned me in to the FBI. When the FBI calls, I will talk to them.”

Midland Mayor Patrick Payton, a supporter of Trump’s policies, said he was disturbed Wednesday as he watched what was happening at the Capitol regardless of who was involved in the events.

He said it was a continuation of what was happening in 2020 when there was an opportunity for discussion of social and racial issues and electoral issues on both sides of the spectrum, but people took to extremes instead.

“… What I’m deeply saddened by is it’s not just the right; it’s not just the left. It’s an indication that we’ve somewhat lost our moorings and leadership. We’ve got to find a way to understand each other before attacking one another …,” Payton said.

He cited a phrase from Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that says: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

“On both sides of political aisle, we have abdicated debate and discussion around real issues …,” Payton said.

He added that he never thought that the election was going to be overturned.

“… I thought it eventually ended the way it was going to end, but it had an interlude of great chaos that made it worse,” Payton worse.

Odessa High School seniors Aakash Angirekula and Sejal Yadalla, both 17, said they were upset by Wednesday’s events.

“It was really sad to see … It all is done. It’s definitely just a small percentage of our population, and yeah, I just really never want to see anything like that again,” Angirekula said.

Yadalla said the U.S. was founded on the idea that every person gets a vote.

“Every vote is counted and all of those votes accumulate to come to a decision and whatever that decision is. … Whoever’s not happy makes peace with it and whoever is happy … they can enjoy that for a few years. … I think that it’s sad that … politics aside … that our country as a whole has come to that conclusion that we need that further step to decide who the President is and step in front of the voice of the people, because once you take away the voice of the people and the power holds, we take away the essence of the country itself,” Yadalla said.

Odessa, TX

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