Home Election of white nationalist unsettles Oklahoma town, recall vote scheduled for April 2
Politics

Election of white nationalist unsettles Oklahoma town, recall vote scheduled for April 2

charlottesville rally
(© Kim Kelley-Wagner – Shutterstock)

On the eve of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, Judd Blevins was seen holding a tiki torch on UVA campus and marching with men shouting: “Jews will not replace us.”

The then-Tulsa native was elected in February 2023 to Ward 1 in the town of Enid, Oklahoma’s city council.

After his election, several members of the town became aware of his behavior in 2017 and the Iraq war veteran’s ties between 2017 and 2019 as a leader of Identity Evropa, one of the largest white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups, as reported by NBC News.

Enid, a city of approximately 50,000 and nearly 100 miles north of Oklahoma City, is one of America’s most quickly diversifying locales and also one of the most conservative.

In the year since Blevins’ election to city council, a group of citizens united together under the moniker the Enid Social Justice Committee to fight for the city’s soul and remove him from council.

Residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, for a recall vote on Blevins.

According to NBC News, Blevins was Identity Evropa’s state coordinator for Oklahoma, distributed fliers in major cities and at universities about white nationalist propaganda, and recruited new members.

On August 11, 2017, Blevins carried the original Oklahoma flag in the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville.

Much of his involvement, NBC News reported, was reported by left-wing news outlets three years before Blevins ran for city council. He won by 36 votes.

When Blevins was sworn in at City Hall on May 1, 2023, members of the Enid Social Justice Committee (ESJC) gathered outside and held signs that read “What happened in Charlottesville, Judd?” They changed what he allegedly chanted in Charlottesville and said “Judd, we will replace you.”

Enid law requires a city council member to serve at least six months before a recall petition is filed. Meanwhile, ESJC members routinely spoke during public comment at city council meetings.

Enid Mayor David Mason asked Blevins behind closed doors about Charlottesville. Mason said that Blevins admitted he was at the Unite the Right Rally.

“Hate has no place in Enid,” Mason told NBC News. “And if he were to win again, I think there will be another recall. I think it will continue until someone will beat him. We’re just not going to — that’s not us. That is not who the people of Enid are.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.