(CN) – The Texas A&M student who was disqualified in a student government election for president filed court papers to investigate potential claims of religious freedom and due process violations, a day after U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry called the election “a mockery.”
The petition filed Thursday in Brazos County District Court by lawyers for Robert McIntosh seeks to depose three people connected with the decision to disqualify top vote-getter McIntosh for failure to report glow sticks as a campaign expense.
The technicality led A&M student Bobby Brooks to victory and gave the university its first openly gay student body president.
“Petitioner desires to investigate…the true reasons for such disqualification and establish that those reasons are based on the fact that he is a heterosexual, white, Christian male,” according to McIntosh’s March 23 petition.
The filing comes one day after Perry, Texas’ longest-serving former governor and the nation’s current energy secretary, wrote an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle, blaming McIntosh’s disqualification on “campus diversity” and suggesting he was not treated fairly.
Media outlets reported that McIntosh is the son of a prominent Republican fundraiser from Dallas who supported President Donald Trump’s campaign last year.
Perry, a former A&M yell leader who became the first Aggie to serve as Texas governor, wrote in his article that “the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright” after saying he was “deeply troubled” by the university administration and student government’s conduct.
A&M spokeswoman Amy Smith said in a statement that while the university appreciates Perry’s commitment to his alma mater, it disagreed with his view on the student-run election.
“We were surprised that he weighed in on the university student body election and respectfully disagree with his assessment,” Smith said.
McIntosh’s petition says he received 763 more votes than his closest opponent in the February election. He asked the court for permission to depose Amy Loyd, Rachel Keathley and Aaron Mitchell to investigate whether his disqualification was a violation of his religious freedoms, due process rights, and other civil rights.
Loyd is A&M’s assistant director of student activities and a student government advisor, according to the university’s website. Keathley is the student elections commissioner called out by Perry in his article to “explain why she chose to overturn a fairly won election,” and Mitchell is a law student.
McIntosh is represented by Gaines West with the law firm West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry in College Station, Texas.