LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Just a few days after Governor Rick Perry denied any involvement in the recent resignation of Texas Tech Regent Mark Griffin, another former Regent says this is not the first time the Governor's Office has tried to pressure a Regent's resignation.
Four years ago, before she knew Governor Rick Perry would run for an unprecedented 3rd term, Windy Sutton pledged her support to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 Texas Governor's race. She says that support prompted a phone call asking her to step down from the Texas Tech University Board of Regents. "Last fall I received a call from Chairman Scott Dueser, and he said he had spoken with the Governor and that my name had appeared on a statewide list for Kay Bailey Hutchison, and that the governor had said that I needed to cease and desist supporting Kay Bailey Hutchison immediately or resign from the board," said Sitton.
Sitton decided to stay on the board and continue to support Hutchison because she only had two months left in her term. Recently, another Regent, Mark Griffin, says he found himself in a similar situation after he announced Hutchison at a campaign event in Lubbock. "The indication was given to me that the Governor desired loyal people on his team, and if I couldn't be loyal to him then maybe I should consider stepping down," said Griffin.
After that phone call Griffin sent his letter of resignation because he says he worried if he didn't Tech would suffer politically. Perry accepted his resignation, but his office told NewsChannel 11 he did not have any contact with Griffin prior to receiving his resignation letter.
"It looks like a pattern, and the pattern is you know, if you don't support me in my next election then we don't want you around," said Sitton. She worries this kind of political pressure will hurt institutions like Texas Tech.
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