ENID, Okla. (KFOR) — One Enid group is collecting signatures in an effort to recall Ward 1 City Commissioner Judd Blevins, after he refused to denounce white supremacy groups at a meeting held at City Hall on Tuesday.
KFOR was at the meeting for immediate reaction.
“What would it say if we as a community were welcoming and doubling down on a white nationalist in office?,” said a meeting attendee on Tuesday.
Blevins was elected as Ward 1 Commissioner in February, but it sparked controversy about those past claims of affiliations.
Since his election, Blevins has not provided direct responses to KFOR regarding his ties to Identity Evropa, neo-Nazi and white nationalist activities and causes.
However, the call to denounce white supremacy in Enid was met with a smirk from Blevins, as efforts to remove him permanently from the office were underway.
Questions about his involvement in white supremacy groups surfaced long before he was elected – including pictures allegedly showing him marching with white nationalists at the Unite the Right in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
The Enid Social Justice Committee believes very few people knew about the ties when Blevins was elected.
“Frankly, I think most people weren’t aware of it,” said Ben Ezell.
“After he became elected [there] was a lot more effort to spread the word and show the evidence that ‘hey he was at Charlottesville marching with a tiki torch.’ He has been affiliated with these white nationalist, white supremacist organizations for years,” he continued.
Ezzell said Blevins was given multiple opportunities to deny his connections to hate groups, to apologize or to clarify his past.
The group gave the commissioner a deadline to walk back the affiliations, but so far he’s refused to denounce the so-called white nationalist and neo-Nazi ties.
It culminated in a collective decision by many in the town to ask Blevins to leave office.
He has refused, saying the sentiment only represents a small portion of the town.
“The First Amendment gives us freedom of speech, freedom of assembly [and] and if we find ourselves having to make apologies when we exercise these rights, than we don’t have them,” said Blevins before the room.
Chaos broke out in response; the board quickly adjourned to an executive session to continue the conversation, leaving the room.
“Say it. Say you’re not a white supremacist, coward,” challenged someone in the room.
“As a voting American, Nazis have no business in government. I do pray for him, I hope he finds peace and reconciliation [but] it’s going to have to be as a private citizen,” Friar James Neal, Enid Social Justice Coalition.
“There’s no vote that can push him out period. There’s no mechanism for the city government, for the board, for the other board of commissioners to remove someone. The only real mechanism is recall…now a recall cant start until a person has been in office for six months. and that just happened two days ago. So now the balls rolling,” said Ezzell.
The recall petition will need more than 200 signatures from registered voters to send in a public vote.
If he is recalled, Blevins would be allowed to run again.