Cheryl Patterson
Cheryl Patterson won election to the Enid City Commission on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Michael McNutt)

Cheryl Patterson, who said she decided to run for the Ward 1 seat on the Enid City Commission because of recent national attention on the incumbent’s past involvement with a white nationalist group, defeated Judd Blevins this evening, the incumbent who has defended his decision to march with white nationalists in Virginia in 2017.

Patterson, who has a long history of public service in Enid, won 829 votes, or 59.6 percent of the vote. Elected to the Ward 1 position in February 2023, Blevins received 561 votes, or 40.4 percent support. Tuesday’s election results culminate a recall petition against Blevins that began five months ago. A group of residents, called the Enid Social Justice Committee, started the recall effort after learning of Blevins’ alleged association with white supremacist groups before he moved back to Enid in 2018.

Blevins, 42, returned to his hometown and began working at his father’s roofing business. He won election to the six-member City Commission slightly more than a year ago in February 2023 when he defeated incumbent Commissioner Jerry Allen in an election with light voter turnout. During his election campaign, the Enid News and Eagle published an article linking Blevins with a white nationalist organization called Identity Evropa.

Patterson, 61, has lived in Enid for 40 years with her husband, Wade, a former Garfield County assessor. She was appointed secretary of the Garfield County Election Board in 2014 and stepped down in 2018. Before that, she had served on boards for Enid Public Schools, the Human Services Alliance and the local foster grandparents program.

“Well, I’m just excited that we can get back to the business of Enid and promoting some of the great things we’ve got going,” Patterson told NonDoc after winning Tuesday evening.

Patterson will be sworn into office April 16, she said. Asked about her goals, Patterson said she will “be looking for opportunities that we can provide for our young adults where they can have a safe, healthy environment to hang out and be productive.”

Blevins texted a statement to NonDoc after Tuesday’s results were tallied.

“I first want to express my gratitude to my voters, volunteers, donors, and to everyone who has prayed for me and supported me,” he said. “It took a coalition of leftists and moderates, an all-out media blitz from local, state and national outlets, and scare tactics about the future of Vance Air Force Base, unfounded in any truth or reality, yet shamefully endorsed by the establishment, to remove a true conservative from office. So be it. This was a trial not just for me, but for many in this community. And many have shown who they really serve. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

Patterson complimented Blevins for running a clean race.

“We made an agreement at the beginning to keep this a clean race with no mudslinging toward each other, and he held up his end on that as well,” she said.

Two bonds approved for Enid Public Schools

Tuesday’s turnout of voters was better than when Blevins was elected last year. Unofficial election results showed 1,390 people, or about 25 percent of Ward 1’s registered voters turned out Tuesday. Last year, 808 voters, or about 14 percent of the ward’s registered voters, participated in the election.

Only residents in Ward 1, which covers the southwest part of Enid from west of Cleveland Street and south of Chestnut Avenue, could vote in Tuesday’s recall election. The recall election was the only City of Enid issue on the ballot.

However, most voters in the Garfield County city could also vote on two bond proposals from Enid Public Schools. Both, which needed 60 percent support to pass, were approved easily.

Unofficial election results showed that 2,310 voters, or 68.2 percent, voted for Proposition 1, which will provide $8.1 million for instructional technology and safety and security improvements. It will provide $6.3 million for computer devices for all students to replace aging technology and $1.8 million for upgrades to security cameras, door locks, secure entrances and keyless entry systems at schools across the district.

A $2.7 million issue to purchase new busses and other vehicles also passed, receiving 1,076 votes, or 31.8 percent.

Blevins described Charlottesville rally attendance

Enid City Commissioner Judd Blevins recall election
Cheryl Patterson unseated Enid Ward 1 City Commissioner Judd Blevins in a recall election Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (NonDoc)

During a forum last week for the Enid Ward 1 recall election, Blevins said he has never identified as a white nationalist or a white supremacist, and he described his prior activism by outlining his priorities.

“The same issues that got Donald Trump elected in 2016: securing America’s borders, reforming our legal immigration system and, frankly, pushing back on this anti-white hatred that is so common in media and entertainment,” Blevins said.

Previously, Blevins had refused to acknowledge photos appearing to show him taking part in the 2017 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and carrying the 46 Oklahoma flag.

After the forum, Blevins told NonDoc he was at the Charlottesville rally, which turned deadly after a man drove his car into a crowd of protestors.

“I went there to protest the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue,” he said.

Asked whether he carried the 46 Oklahoma flag, Blevins at first hedged his response.

“I mean the guy looks a lot like me,” he said.

Pressed further, Blevins acquiesced.

“Sure, you know, yeah, I did, you know, the reason (was) because a lot of socialists in Oklahoma love, they kind of adopted that flag,” Blevins said. “So, it was basically just to troll them.”

Asked why he took part in the event, Blevins hinted at regretting the decision.

“I’ll say this: When we’re young and foolish, you know, yeah, we do things that are young and foolish, but the past is the past,” Blevins said.