After the student government association at Texas A&M ruled that the winner of the student-body president elections was disqualified, making runner-up Bobby Brooks the first openly gay president, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry wrote an editorial in the Houston Chronicle saying that the election was "stolen."
Brooks was declared the winner on campus when it was found that the student with the most votes, Rober McIntosh, failed to provide receipts for glow sticks used in a campaign video. He also faced charges of voter intimidation, which were later dismissed on appeal, the Houston Chronicle reported.
In his editorial submission, Perry pointed out that the student body's judicial court "admitted that the charges were minor and technical," but, to the energy secretary's dismay, the body "incredibly, chose to uphold the disqualification."
"The desire of the electorate is overturned, and thousands of student votes are disqualified, because of free glow sticks that appeared for eleven seconds of a months-long campaign," Perry added. "Apparently glow sticks merit the same punishment as voter intimidation."
Perry, a Texas A&M alum, then implied that the student government association rigged the results to ensure a white, straight student did not win the election.
"What if Mr. Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? Would the administration and the student body have allowed the first gay student body president to be voided for using charity glow sticks? Would the student body have allowed a black student body president to be disqualified on anonymous charges of voter intimidation?" Perry asked.
Political scientists in Texas, who are familiar with Perry, are somewhat shocked he would even take the time to voice his opinion on this issue.
"It's astounding," Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, told the Chronicle. "He's written it as a call for fairness, not that he's come out against the first gay student body president at A&M, but the extraordinary part is that he took the time to do this when he should have so many bigger fish to fry in his current job."
Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor, told the Chronicle about the same thing.
"This must be his inner Aggie speaking, because this is certainly not something you expect a cabinet secretary to weigh in on – actually, probably not even a governor," Jones said. "It's strange. Of all the things he could have an opinion on, this is probably not the smartest move for a cabinet secretary. He must really be upset about it."