Proud Boys Member Jeffrey Perrine Refuses To Resign From California GOP Group

A member of the far-right Proud Boys group and a recently-elected member of Sacramento County's Republican Party Central Committee has said he will not resign, despite calls from the GOP group to step down.

On Monday, Sacramento County GOP Chair Betsy Graves Mahan called on Jeffrey Perrine to resign due to his affiliation with Proud Boys, describing their views and actions are "inconsistent with the values of the Republican Party." It followed an interview with the Sacramento Bee where Perrine said he was a member of the group.

The Proud Boys is a far-right, anti-immigration, all-male group with a history of street violence. Many of them are supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who told the group to "stand back and standby" during the first presidential debate last October. Trump later distanced himself from the Proud Boys. On Monday, Canada moved to class the group, which was part of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, as a terrorist entity.

"As far as the GOP goes, I will not resign. I was elected, and feel that being booted for past non-GOP actions is a terrible thing to do to someone my age," Perrine, 37, told Newsweek.

"We have all made mistakes, are we not allowed to grow and move past them? Illegals [illegal immigrants] are not a race of people. I feel the people who call me racist, are really the bigots. They are the ones assuming I am only speaking about Mexicans. I feel all illegal immigration is harmful. I never selected a specific race. I love all races and creeds. Its all about ideology for me. Not skin color," he added.

He said he did not regret being a member of the Proud Boys, but regretted that the group got "such negative notoriety".

"When I joined it was just a bunch of good men, who work hard, love their families, venerate the housewife, and want to preserve America, what little is left anyways."

"I wish it wasn't so big, so that the brand gets mixed up. We are not racist bigots. We are Proud Western Men," he added.

In her statement on Monday asking for Perrine to resign, Mahan said Perrine ran in a Central Committee race where the number of candidates was equal to the number of seats and candidates, so he didn't appear on the March 2020 ballot. Although Perrine was eligible to take office during the committee's virtual meeting in January, Mahan said that he did not attend and has not been sworn in.

Any member of a political party can run for the Sacramento GOP Central Committee under state law. The Executive Committee also plans to present a resolution for approval in February that denounces hate groups and violence, Mahan said.

In social media videos, Perrine is seen in at a 2018 rally in Portland, Oregon, the city where the Proud Boys have previously held several violent demonstrations.

During the clip, Perrine says "all the illegals trying to jump over our border, we should be smashing their heads into the concrete."

At #Portland rally, Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer called for immigrants heads to be "smash[ed]...into the concrete," seen giving Nazi salutes and screaming racial slurs. They don't just want to fight 'the Left,' but attack broad segments of the population. https://t.co/dPlbZby4QS pic.twitter.com/d2drdkAuhB

— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) July 5, 2018

He defended the video and told Newsweek that the statement was taken "out of context".

The Sacramento County Republican Party declined to comment on Perrine's refusal to resign.

Perrine also said he has been "intimately involved" with the effort to unseat California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Proud Boys march in Washington D.C.
Members of the Proud Boys gather in support of President Donald Trump and in protest the outcome of the 2020 presidential election near freedom plaza on December 12, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Jeffrey Perrine, a member of the far-right group, has been asked to resign from the Sacramento GOP. Tasos Katopodis/Getty