The Texas State Student Government Election Board disqualified Russell Boyd Friday night from running for student body president after his opponent complained that Boyd jumped the gun on the official campaign season.
Presidential Candidate Connor Clegg said he found evidence on Boyd’s Twitter feed that displayed a tweet dating back to September of 2016 saying, “I would be a great university president. I swear my school would thrive.” The tweet got 13 retweets and 29 likes, according to testimony provided to the board.
His opponent, Clegg, claimed this message amounted to soliciting support before the sanctioned time of campaign which would be a violation of the election code. There were also tweets from students retweeted by Boyd that stated “Russ for president” and “Russ for president you got my vote.”
In his defense, Boyd claimed he did not intend the tweets to declare his intent of running for student body president. With aspirations to pursue post-graduate work, Boyd said he meant to say he could be a great college president. At the time, Texas State University President Denise Trauth was embroiled in controversy over crime and protests on campus.
“Therefore, with that in mind, there was no early campaign or intent to early campaign as I had not made it aware to anyone that I was running for student government president,” Boyd said.
However, Clegg brought up yet another tweet sent out by an acquaintance of Boyd’s on Jan. 23 2017 at 10:01 p.m. that stated her support for Boyd as student body president. That would make for four alleged counts of early campaigning; the code calls for disqualification of a candidate solicits support between three and six times. Boyd countered that the tweet was correct, but the time was wrong.
He then provided evidence of the same tweet – on Jan. 24 at 12:01 a.m. implying that the screen shots Clegg presented were “fabricated.” Alyssa Cormier, who sent the tweet, testified that she was aware of the campaign beginning on Jan. 24, and made sure to tweet out at the given time.
The Election Board voted to disqualify Boyd after classifying the three tweets in September as a Class A violation because it had the “intent” to solicit public support before the official campaign season, underway now. Boyd may appeal the board decision to the student Supreme Court.