U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is suggesting that the election that gave his alma mater, Texas A&M, its first openly gay student body president was "stolen."
Perry was Texas' longest serving governor until leaving office in 2015. He was also an A&M yell leader, or cheerleader.
In an op-ed published Wednesday by the Houston Chronicle, Perry decried the election of Bobby Brooks, who finished second in voting but was awarded the presidency after his opponent, Robert McIntosh, was disqualified. McIntosh is the son of the Republican fundraiser Alison McIntosh, The New Times reported.
The secretary of energy criticized the decison by the election commissioner and university's judicial court to disqualify McIntosh for failing to report a campaign expense, NBC News reported.
Additionally, McIntosh was also reported at least 14 different times via the University’s elections website for voter intimidation, the school’s newspaper, The Batt, reported. The charges were later dropped.
Perry called the anonymous complaints made against McIntosh "dirty campaign tactics" by Brooks' supporters.
He argues that the move "made a mockery of due process and transparency" and "allowed an election to be stolen outright." Perry also alleged that the outcome would have been different "if the victim was different."
"It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for 'diversity' is the real reason the election outcome was overturned," Perry wrote. "Does the principle of 'diversity' override and supersede all other values of our Aggie Honor Code?"
Texas A&M, in a statement to NBC News, said the school was surprised by Perry's editorial and took issue with his suggestion that the decision was biased against "a white man."
"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," said Texas A&M spokesperson Amy Smith. “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.”