On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott is visiting Lubbock for a campaign fundraising event, but several names on The Lubbock Host Committee list have been removed, including the owner of George McMahan Development Company.

McMahan’s name has been removed from the host list due to public comments he made last week (August 16) during an interview with KAMC News, where he voiced his suspicions regarding the sudden retirement of former Texas Tech System Chancellor Robert Duncan.

During the interview, McMahan went on to suggest that Wednesday’s fundraiser for Abbott is “strictly political” and meant to curry legislative favor with the Governor on behalf of Texas Tech.

McMahan also said that large donations to Abbott are what make certain people eligible for appointment to the Texas Tech Board of Regents. John Wittman, press secretary for the Office of Governor Abbott, has since released a statement denouncing the insinuation:

“What Mr. McMahan suggested is not only false, but also illegal. To insinuate that Governor Abbott makes appointments on the basis of campaign donations is an offense the to the hundreds of people the Governor appoints to boards across the state. Because of his unfortunate comments, Mr. McMahan has been removed as a host from the Governor’s event, and our campaign has returned his donation. This is not how the Governor does business.”

In reaction to McMahan’s invitation withdraw, two couples have pulled their own names from The Lubbock Host Committee list; Marc McDougal, CEO for the McDougal Companies, his wife Pam, and Delbert and Carolyn McDougal. KAMC News reports that the two couples are standing behind George McMahan and Marc McDougal believes that the Office of Governor Abbott owes McMahan an apology.

With five names gone from The Lubbock Host Committee, $40,000 worth of campaign donations have been lost. However, it’s an amount Abbott isn’t likely to notice. A recent filing with the Texas Ethics Commission has Abbott’s war chest at nearly $29 million dollars, far outpacing the fundraising efforts of his Democratic opponent, Lupe Valdez, who was last reported to have only $222,000.

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