Oklahoma official facing recall vote says his activism was motivated by issues ‘that got Trump elected’

While Blevins admitted to marching at Charlottesville — where he held a tiki torch alongside men who shouted “Jews will not replace us!” — he said his purpose was limited to preserving statues of American soldiers. “It’s our history,” he said. “It’s our heritage. It’s who we are.”

Pressed about whether he regretted marching in a rally where counterprotesters were beaten and a woman was killed, Blevins said, “One day in Virginia five years ago, or seven, is not really relevant to the next three years in Enid.”

Blevins responded to several questions about his white nationalist ties by saying he was “opposed to all forms of racial hate and racial discrimination.” 

But asked whether he would “condemn white nationalism, white supremacy, neo-Nazi beliefs and behaviors and alt-right activities and groups,” Blevins dug in, saying those issues weren’t a modern concern. 

“I’m not going to play this game where I take things that the media says are problems from America’s past that are no longer problems today and pretend like they’re serious issues,” he said. “I don’t care what the FBI says. I don’t care what the White House says. These are not issues to Enid residents. They’re not issues to American citizens.” 

He also for the first time publicly denied that he had posted on white nationalist forums under a pseudonym. 

NBC News reported this month that Blevins posted on those forums under the moniker Conway. Photos, biographical details and Conway’s disclosure that he would be marching in Charlottesville with Oklahoma’s original flag — as Blevins was photographed doing — verified the match. As Conway, he posted about flyering major cities and universities with white nationalist propaganda, organizing activities and recruiting new members.

Enid’s mayor, David Mason, and the city attorney have told NBC News that Blevins took responsibility for the posts at a closed-door meeting in November. 

From 2017 to 2019, Blevins led an Oklahoma chapter of the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa. The group dissolved in 2019 and rebranded as the American Identity Movement, which disbanded in 2020. Its leaders have splintered to other white nationalist groups.

Blevins’ past organizing had been reported, first by progressive media outlets and then by the local paper, the Enid News & Eagle, which published a front-page exposé in January 2023, five weeks before the election. Blevins didn’t deny the allegations at the time, but he derided the source of the research as “George-Soros-funded” leftists. 

Blevins’ election galvanized a progressive coalition, who formed a group called the Enid Social Justice Committee. Its members protested Blevins’ swearing-in ceremony and attended biweekly City Council meetings where they took over the public comment periods, reading racist and antisemitic posts Blevins had written on a private forum under a pseudonym and holding up photos of him with a tiki torch at the Charlottesville rally. The group attempted to reach an agreement whereby Blevins would apologize and denounce white nationalist groups, but he declined. 

The recall election has captured the attention of national white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, who have urged their members and followers to weigh in on social media and write to the mayor and other city officials to voice their support for Blevins. 

At Tuesday’s forum, Blevins also faced questions about his current affiliations, including questions regarding out-of-state donors with potential ties to people in white nationalist groups.

“It’s not a crime to have a friend who has money,” Blevins said of the Texas donor who gave $1,944 to his campaign. “What he does to earn a living is entirely up to him.”

After the forum, James Neal, a member of the Enid Social Justice Committee, confronted Blevins about those donations and asked repeatedly whether he was still associated with white nationalist groups.

“I’m not answering any questions,” Blevins said before he walked out the door. 

In Enid, as in most municipal elections, voter turnout is low. Blevins won last year by 36 votes in an election in which 808 people, less than 15% of registered voters, came out to vote. In its announcement of Tuesday’s forum, the News & Eagle said the goal was to inform people in Enid and to encourage turnout. 

The election will take place next Tuesday. 

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