Cruz adds billionaire who backed Perry

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Houston debate Ted Cruz says he hopes to 'run again' for White House Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks MORE (R-Texas) now has the backing of a billionaire who once supported former Gov. Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: 2020 Democrats roll out climate plans ahead of CNN forum | Trump blasts CNN for 'ignoring' facts | Officials roll back Obama-era lightbulb rules | Dem contenders split over nuclear energy Trump administration rolls back Obama-era lightbulb rules In defense of Karamo Brown, and civility MORE's (R-Texas) presidential campaign.

Cruz’s campaign announced Monday that Darwin Deason; Deason's son, Doug Deason; and four other major Texas businessmen have endorsed Cruz for the White House next year.

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“We as a group wanted to stay together to support a true conservative candidate for president — one who will stand up for and defend the Constitution,” Darwin Deason said in a statement.

“We did our research and concluded unanimously Ted Cruz, who went to D.C. and did what he promised Texans he would do, has the best chance of winning the Republican nomination and the general election next year,” he added. “We are proud to support him.”

The Deasons are joining Cruz’s National Finance Committee after supporting Perry before his exit from the 2016 race in September.

Darwin Deason reportedly donated $5 million to a network of pro-Perry super-PACs that has since been returned.

The Deasons join Ryan Industries, Inc. Chairman and CEO Brint Ryan; Ascendant Advisors, LLC President Jim Lee; and Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell as Cruz supporters. Lee Roy Mitchell is chairman of the board for Cinemark.

Cruz’s campaign also announced Monday that it has added Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) as its state chairman heading into 2016.

“It is a tremendous honor for me that Dan has accepted the Texas Chairmanship of my campaign,” Cruz said in a statement.

“Dan is a conservative warrior,” he added. “He knows and loves Texas and understands how important the Lone Star State is to winning the nomination.”

Patrick endorsed David Dewhurst over Cruz during their Senate contest in 2012. He has since been impressed with Cruz's national profile and is thus supporting him for the presidency next year.

Cruz’s new endorsements bolster his strength in Texas before it conducts its GOP presidential primary on March 1. The state is crucial for the eventual Republican nominee, given it awards 155 delegates.

His campaign announced earlier this month that it had brought in more than $12 million during the third quarter.

That amount brought Cruz’s total fundraising to more than $26 million since he launched his 2016 Oval Office bid in March.

The Texas lawmaker raised $4 million during the first quarter and another $10 million during the second quarter.