State Redistricting Profile: Texas

By Sami Sparber

3:48 PM on Nov 29, 2021 CST

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AUSTIN – A North Texas man facing federal charges for allegedly assaulting police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection and siege at the U.S. Capitol is now running for a Texas House seat.

Mark Middleton, who was indicted in May by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., is challenging incumbent GOP Rep. David Spiller of Jacksboro in House District 68. Following this year’s redistricting, the district stretches from the Oklahoma border south to Lampasas and San Saba counties at the edge of the Texas Hill Country.

According to the Texas secretary of state website, the state Republican Party has accepted Middleton’s application to be a candidate in the March 1 primary.

Middleton and his wife Jalise, of Forestburg, were captured on video and in photographs participating in the riot, the FBI says in a federal criminal complaint. They were arrested and released in April from the Collin County jail, according to jail records.

The couple have pleaded not guilty and are free on a personal recognizance bond while they await trial on nine counts involving assault of a law enforcement officer, interference with a law enforcement officer during civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, unlawful entry on restricted grounds, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Mark Middleton could not immediately be reached for comment.

Middleton, 52, lists on his LinkedIn profile that he is a volunteer firefighter and Cub Scout leader who worked in sales for Nortex Communications, an internet services company. He holds two business degrees and a Masters of Theology from Liberty University, according to his campaign website.

On his candidate filing papers, Middleton listed a P.O. box in Era, which is 15 miles east of Forestburg, in Cooke County. He and Jalise live in southwest Cooke County on a small family farm, according to his campaign website.

In the complaint, the FBI says it obtained body camera video that shows a man, later identified as Mark Middleton, pushing against the Capitol barricades and police line during the riot. The man yells an expletive at officers and struggles against them “for more than 30 seconds” as police tell the rioters to get back.

The man then grabs one officer’s left hand or wrist and pulls him forward, the complaint says. The Middletons’ indictment mentions the two officers worked for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

Mark Middleton’s campaign platform advocates for Texas to consider leaving the United States and becoming an independent nation, a hard-right position.

“To the extent the Union can be saved we should work to that end. However, it is past time Texans start seriously exploring our exit from the Union,” his campaign website says.

The FBI says the Middletons posted multiple photographs and videos on Facebook documenting their involvement in the insurrection.

In a video posted by Mark Middleton, the FBI says, he can be heard saying he and his wife were on the front lines of the attack and “helped push down the barriers” before being “pepper-sprayed, clubbed and tear-gassed.”

Middleton also said those who caused damage were “NOT patriots” and that “there wouldn’t be a building left” if they intended to start a riot, the bureau said. Both Middletons said on Facebook that they did not enter the Capitol, according to the complaint.

About 20 men and women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have been charged in connection with the storming and ransacking of the Capitol after a Trump rally. Some are accused of hurling dangerous items at police and fighting officers who were trying to keep them out of the Capitol.

Staff Writers Kelli Smith and Kevin Krause and Austin Bureau Chief Robert T. Garrett contributed to this report.

Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2021/11/29/north-texas-man-charged-with-assaulting-cops-during-capitol-insurrection-is-running-for-texas-house/

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