UPDATE: Female Yell Leader Candidate Not in Runoff

By: Clay Falls and Steve Fullhart Email
By: Clay Falls and Steve Fullhart Email

Yell Leaders Website
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*6 P.M. Update*

At first Texas A&M announced a woman running for yell leader garnered enough votes to make it to a runoff election.

That would have been a big step toward changing the tradition of all-male yell leaders.

They now say Samantha Ketcham will not be in the runoff.

News 3 has reaction from Ketcham on how a voting miscalculation changed the final results.

It's the end of the race for Texas A&M Yell Leader Candidate Samantha Ketcham.

"You know it's a little disappointing of course you know you're in the running because you do you know you want to win and you really want the position. But I mean overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out," said Ketcham, a junior at Texas A&M.

Tuesday night she was in a four person runoff race for the Aggie tradition until a mistake was found.

While the number of votes were all correct the percentages needed to win were wrong in the preliminary results.

"Students have the opportunity when they vote to skip any individual election so when the calculation was based on the 15,000 plus votes total that were cast. Those were not the number that actually voted in the senior yell leader election," explained Rusty Thompson, Texas A&M Associate Director of Student Activities.

Thompson said the new numbers gave the top two remaining finalists Drew Nelson, and Hunter Skoog the 50 percent margin needed to win.

"I just think it's important to understand that the election commission they deeply regret that this happened," Thompson said.

Samantha Ketcham told News 3 the election outcome is what it is and she doesn't think it's a conspiracy to keep her from becoming a yell leader.

"It is sad we were told there was a runoff and to get excited about that but I mean the results are what they are. So like I said I'm just excited for the people that did make it," she said.

Ketcham says she'll continue to support her Aggies from the stands next year and believes a woman yell leader will be on the sidelines some day.

While the runoff for senior yell leader is over, a runoff election is scheduled for Friday between student body president finalists Thomas McNutt and John Claybrook.

No other races were impacted by the miscalculation.

UPDATE: According to the Battalion, Texas A&M University's student newspaper, a miscalculation in the vote for senior yell, there will be no runoff race between Samantha Ketcham and Josh Light.

Hunter Skoog and Drew Nelson win outright and will join Nelson Ingram.


The woman running for Aggie Yell Leader is still in the hunt, but barely.

Junior Samantha Ketcham was the last candidate to sneak into a four-person runoff for the last two Senior Yell Leader spots. She's joined by Hunter Skoog, Drew Nelson and Josh Light.

No woman has ever held the coveted title at A&M.

Nelson Ingram was the lone candidate to score a Senior Yell Leader spot Tuesday night. Hunter Cook and Ryan Crawford secured the Junior Yell Leader positions.

Students will vote again Thursday and Friday to decide the last two spots.

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