Rick Perry weighs in on Texas A&M election

Texas A&M Sophomore Mason Mahan cherishes his right to vote, “I believe heavily in student participation and involvement here,” he says. 

And that’s why he cast his ballot during the most recent election for the University’s next Student Body President, “I voted for Bobby Brooks.”

Brooks who lost by 763 votes clinched the title after his opponent Robert McIntosh was disqualified for not filing an expense report over glow sticks he used during his campaign.

“At A&M, every vote counts in who gets elected,” says Junior Clare Campbell, “I think it's important to get a say in that.”

She says she voted for McIntosh. “I was disappointed because he did win, and I know he put on a great campaign.”

Energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, an Aggie alum, was disappointed with the outcome too. Pinning an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle, Perry said on the outset electing an openly gay student was “a testament to the aggie character.”

A few paragraphs later though, he took the electoral judicial process to task saying McIntosh's punishment wasn't justified. And that the school “made a mockery of due process and transparency.”

Perry also wrote that he believed the school's “quest for diversity is the real reason the election outcome was overturned.”

“On my word I can't really say whether it was broken or not,” Mahan says, as he was not part of the judicial process. But he adds, “I hate that it comes across that way to Governor Perry because I know that A&M is big in his heart and so I can only say that I hope that we didn't and that we went by the rules and how it should have gone and he just didn't get all of the information.”

Neither Brooks or McIntosh responded to Fox 7's request for comment.

Texas A&M’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer issued the following statement:

“We appreciate Secretary Perry’s long-term commitment to his alma mater and to the state in general. He was a great leader on campus and has had a distinguished career. At the same time, we were surprised that he weighed in on the university student body election and respectfully disagree with his assessment. These elections are run by the students with advisors from student affairs and issues that arise are adjudicated in accordance with the Student Government constitution and by-laws.

The disqualification of the leading vote-getter resulted in the certification of Bobby Brooks as the next Student Body President effective April 21, 2017. To suggest that the same decision of disqualification would not have been made if the roles were reversed is to deny the Texas A&M of today where accountability applies to all.

Bobby Brooks, in this role, represents all students of all backgrounds. I know that he takes this responsibility seriously and we look forward to working with him. We are also grateful to the other students who ran for the office and who will undoubtedly continue to be leaders on the campus.”

A&M officials say Brooks is scheduled to take office on April 21st.

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