Posted on April 3, 2024

Oklahoma Official With White Nationalist Ties Is Ousted in Recall Vote

Brandy Zadrozny, NBC, April 2, 2024

Voters in Enid decided by a nearly 20-point margin Tuesday to remove a City Council member over his ties to white nationalist groups.

Judd Blevins lost his seat on Enid’s six-member City Council by 268 votes, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board. Nearly 1,400 people turned out, about a quarter of Ward 1’s registered voters and hundreds more than voted when Blevins was first elected last year.

Blevins will be replaced by Cheryl Patterson, a former teacher and longtime Republican who campaigned on a return to “normalcy” for this small city nearly 100 miles north of Oklahoma City, which was divided by the furor over Blevins.

“We won,” said Connie Vickers, a Democrat in conservative Enid, who was among the first to publicly confront Blevins over his white nationalist ties. “Blevins lost. Hate lost.”

Blevins faced the recall vote after local activists learned that he had marched alongside neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and led an Oklahoma chapter of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa.

Blevins has denied that he has ever been a white supremacist, but at a candidate forum last week he defended marching in Charlottesville and said his activism was motivated by “the same issues that got Donald Trump elected in 2016.”

Blevins had his supporters in Enid. A woman who campaigned for him said she liked what she saw from him over the last year. Another outside a polling station Tuesday said he knew Blevins personally.

“He’s a really good guy,” Tim McDonald said. “He deserves a second chance.”

Spotted holding a sign on a corner near his polling place, Blevins said he thought voters would rally to save his seat. “I’m pretty confident I’ll come out on top,” he said. “And if not, I fought the good fight.”

Blevins said that if he lost, he had no plans to run again. “I just go back to private life,” he said. “Life goes on.”

Blevins said in a statement Tuesday evening that the race had been “a trial not just for me, but for many in this community.” He added: “I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”


Earlier in the day, Patterson and a group of supporters held her campaign signs on a busy corner. Patterson said she felt good, aside from the frigid temperatures.


She added: “Enid is not a town that promotes white nationalism or white supremacy in any way. And the people are good. And I’m hoping that the results of the election will show that.”

Most people in Enid will tell you they didn’t hear much about the allegations against Blevins until after he was elected last year.

As voters trickled into polling stations Tuesday, many said they didn’t vote in that race and had no idea back then that Blevins, a former Marine who now works for his family’s roofing business, had been active in white nationalist groups. Nearly everyone said they didn’t want their city to be known as a place that tolerates hate.

“It does matter what you’ve done. Who you’ve associated with,” said Paul Martin, a cattle farmer and Democrat who said he votes for candidates regardless of party and learned of Blevins’ white nationalist ties only after his election.

“It didn’t come to light until after the vote,” Martin said. “I was really upset.”


Patterson rarely spoke about Blevins in speeches and at fundraisers. She talked about kindness, civility and a return to “normalcy.”


“It was time to step forward,” she said. “It’s time to restore our reputation.”

“I fear that his recent past puts our Air Force base at risk and jeopardizes our ability to recruit businesses to Enid,” she said. {snip}