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Oklahoma man who participated in Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville loses election

heather heyer way unite the right rally charlottesville virginia
Heather Heyer Way, Charlottesville, 2018 (© stacy – stock.adobe.com)

A man who attended the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in August 2017 has lost his city council seat in Oklahoma, according to CNN.

City Council Commissioner Judd Blevins was elected to the Enid City Council in February 2023. The city has a population around 50,000.

After Blevins was elected, a local newspaper identified him as a recruiter for Identity Evropa, a White supremacist organization.

After the article was published, Blevins acknowledged he attended the rallies in Charlottesville where one counter protester was killed and dozens were injured. Blevins has denied that he that he ever identified as a White nationalist or supremacist, despite evidence to the contrary.

“It is important for the American people to advocate for what they believe in,” Blevins said at a city council meeting in November. “If we find ourselves having to make apologies when we exercise these rights, then we don’t have them.

“I am a different man today than I was yesterday. There is no hate in my heart. All there is is the desire to follow the Lord. But I’m not going to apologize for things I never was.”

A censure vote was postponed last year by fellow Council members who pointed to both forgiveness and free speech as a reason not to move forward.

Residents were not satisfied, pointing in part to Belvins’ refusal to apologize for his hate speech and participation in the Charlottesville rally.

Residents collected signatures for a recall petition which led to a special election on Tuesday.

Critics of Blevins campaigned for his opponent, Cheryl Patterson, going door to door in an effort to get Blevins removed from his seat on Council.

Voters selected Patterson to fill the Council seat in the special election on Tuesday, according to CNN.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.