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Proud Boy files to run for a Sacramento-area school board. The GOP isn't supporting him

Sawsan Morrar, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in News & Features

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A member the far-right group Proud Boys who recently lost a bid for the California state Assembly has filed papers to run for a seat on a Sacramento-area school board.

Jeffrey Erik Perrine, 38, plans to challenge San Juan Unified School District Board of Education member Michael McKibbin in the November election. Tanya Kravchuk, who works at Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento, is also running against McKibbin.

They’re competing to represent the district Area 5, which represents the Orangevale area. San Juan Unified serves more than 40,000 students from Sacramento’s Arden-Arcade neighborhood to Fair Oaks and Citrus Heights.

He’s entering the race after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the dynamics of local school board meetings, shifting from mostly dull sessions to sometimes passionate hearings in which parents argued over public health rules and other topics. Perrine was among the activists who would show up a school board meetings to contest COVID-19 mandates.

Perrine, a San Juan Unified alumnus who has two elementary schoolchildren in the district, said he is running to bring conservative values to the board and “fight cultural Marxism.” His platform centers on hot-button conservative issues like critical race theory, preventing displays meant to support gay students and serving students who don’t speak English.

“We need for someone to not allow the craziness; it’s disgusting,” he said. “There are a lot of parents who are completely against where we have gone. It doesn’t matter where they are on the (political) spectrum. It’s to go to school, to learn be good human beings.”

 

Republicans are already distancing themselves from Perrine, who was expelled from an elected position on the Sacramento County Republican Party’s central committee in 2021 after a report from The Sacramento Bee detailed his connection to Proud Boys. One video posted online from 2018 shows Perrine speaking through a megaphone in Portland, Oregon, suggesting that “all the illegals trying to jump over our border, we should be smashing their heads into the concrete.”

Betsy Mahan, chair of the Sacramento County Republican Party, Kravchuk is on the party’s agenda for endorsement this week.

“For good reason we have not invited Mr. Perrine,” Mahan said. “We had a history with him that has not been a positive one. He has a history of interacting with school boards in an aggressive way that has not been productive. We are just very pleased to have a candidate who can represent teachers and parents who want to put kids first.”

Proud Boys are considered right-wing extremists, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which says the group’s leaders regularly spout white nationalist rhetoric and maintain affiliations with known extremists.

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