rick perry letter texas a&m student government election
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.  Aaron P. Bernstein—Getty Images

Texas A&M Elected Its First Gay Student Body President. Rick Perry Said the Election Was 'Stolen'

Mar 23, 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry penned a column for the Houston Chronicle deeming the recent student government election at Texas A&M University a "mockery" after a gay man won following a contentious race.

The former Texas governor said he was at first proud to hear that his alma mater had elected its first openly gay student body president, Bobby Brooks. But soon after, he found out that another candidate, Robert McIntosh, originally won the election, and Perry questioned whether McIntosh was disqualified in pursuit of "diversity."

"Brooks did not win the election. He finished second by more than 750 votes...However, McIntosh was disqualified by the SGA Election Commission and Judicial Court through a process that—at best—made a mockery of due process and transparency," Perry wrote Wednesday, mentioning the two student organizations that weighed in on the election. "At worst, the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright."

McIntosh was first disqualified for various reports of voter intimidation, and then disqualified for not disclosing the cost of glow sticks he used in a campaign video in finance reports. The student-run Judicial Court found him not guilty of voter intimidation and revised voter results that led him to be disqualified, The New York Times reports.

Perry questioned whether McIntosh would have been disqualified if he were not a white male. "Now, Brooks' presidency is being treated as a victory for 'diversity.' It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for 'diversity' is the real reason the election outcome was overturned," the U.S. Energy Secretary wrote.

Perry identified himself as someone "who was twice elected Yell Leader of Texas A&M University." He became invested in this student election as well, writing: "The Aggie administration and SGA owe us answers."

A Texas A&M spokesperson told the Dallas News, “Perry's always been a great proponent for Texas A&M. I’m surprised that he’s weighing in. I’m surprised he would have the time to do that."

[NYT]

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