© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Enid voters will decide whether to keep or recall city commissioner with white nationalist ties

Cheryl Patterson (left) and Judd Blevins (right) at a Mar. 26 candidate forum in Enid
Cheryl Patterson (left) and Judd Blevins (right) at a Mar. 26 candidate forum in Enid
Find more election results from April 2 here.

Voters in one of Enid’s six city council districts will decide whether to keep current City Commissioner Judd Blevins despite his associations with white nationalist groups.

Blevins, who was elected to the Enid City Council last year, has acknowledged attending a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was there alongside neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

Blevins also acted as the Oklahoma coordinator for white nationalist group Identify Evropa, according to reporting by Right Wing Watch.

A self-described “movement of concerned citizens” called Enid Social Justice Committee has led the push to recall Blevins. They gathered enough signatures to bring it to a vote on April 2.

James Neal is the vice-chair of the Enid Social Justice Committee; he’s also an Orthodox-Catholic priest. Neal told the public radio program Focus: Black Oklahoma that he sees the recall as a fight against the same sentiments that fueled slavery and segregation and Nazism.

“It's never really changed,” Neal said. “It's just been rebranded, and at this point they've rebranded it in the name of Jesus, which is, if you're a Christian, in my opinion, the ultimate blasphemy.”

If voters recall Blevins, his seat will be filled by Cheryl Patterson. Although Enid City Commissioners are non-partisan, both candidates say they’re Republicans.

During a recent candidate forum, Blevins side-stepped questions about his rally attendance and involvement in Identify Evropa, but says he stands by his right wing values.

I've done something congressmen won't do,” he said. “I've done something senators won't do. I've stood my ground. I've not sold out my voters for the sake of expedience.”

Patterson mostly focused on local issues. But she did address Blevins’s associations in her closing remarks.

I fear that his recent past puts our Air Force base at risk and jeopardizes our ability to recruit businesses to Enid,” she said. “There is no place for hate in Enid.”

On Tuesday, Blevins’ constituents will decide whether to reaffirm him or replace him with Patterson. Blevins said even if the vote goes his way, he doesn’t plan to seek reelection once his term is up.

* indicates required

Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content