AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose agency oversees the nation’s nuclear arsenal, is inserting himself into an unusually small political dispute: an election for student body president at Texas A&M.

Governor Rick Perry (The Associated Press)

In an op-ed submitted to the Houston Chronicle, the former Texas governor suggested that his alma mater’s first openly gay president may have stolen the outcome. Perry wrote that the campus election “at best made a mockery of due process and transparency” and at worst “allowed an election to be stolen outright.”

“It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for ‘diversity’ is the real reason the election outcome was overturned,” he wrote. “Does the principle of ‘diversity’ override and supersede all other values of our Aggie Honor Code?”

Those who know Perry best said they’re not surprised that he would take the unusual step of weighing in on a parochial issue at his alma mater — even though he’s now a member of President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet.

“There are three institutions that are most important to Rick Perry, his wife and family, the U.S. military and Texas A&M. It depended on the day, or the weekend, which one had the top priority,” said Ray Sullivan, a former Perry chief of staff and veteran of the ex-governor’s unsuccessful presidential runs in 2012 and 2016.

  • FILE - In this March 2, 2017, file photo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks during a swearing in ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Perry, whose agency oversees the nation’s nuclear arsenal, is inserting himself into an unusually small political dispute: an election for student body president at Texas A&M. In an op-ed submitted to the Houston Chronicle, the former Texas governor suggested that his alma mater’s first openly gay president may have stolen the outcome. Perry wrote that the campus election “at best made a mockery of due process and transparency” and at worst “allowed an election to be stolen outright.” Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP / Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The campus election ended with junior economics major Bobby Brooks winning about 4,200 votes. Another candidate, Robert McIntosh, son of Dallas-based GOP fundraiser Alison McIntosh, got nearly 5,000 but was disqualified amid complaints he intimidated voters…