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Carona Lends Private Plane to Patrick Campaign

State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, confirmed Friday that he is allowing fellow state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, to use his private plane to campaign around the state.

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas (l) and Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston (r)

At least one Republican state senator has waded into the increasingly bitter primary battle for Texas lieutenant governor. 

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, confirmed Friday that he is allowing fellow Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, to use the private plane owned by his corporation to campaign around the state. While he does not intend to make an official endorsement in the race, Carona said he and his wife had decided to help Patrick's campaign financially because they believed his ideology most closely aligned with theirs.

Patrick is one of three candidates vying to unseat his boss and Carona's: incumbent Lt. Gov. David DewhurstA Dewhurst spokesman declined to comment on the development.

Carona's support signals what could be a thawing of relations between the two men, who have publicly sparred in the past. Last May news outlets obtained a letter that Patrick sent to every member of the upper chamber saying Carona was spreading rumors about the state of his marriage. Carona denied Patrick’s claims, calling him “a narcissist that would say anything to draw attention to himself.”

In March, Carona will face his own primary challenger, Dallas developer Donald Huffines. Huffines announced his candidacy earlier this week, saying he was running because Carona is "too liberal" for the district. A Patrick spokesman said the Houston senator had no current plans to endorse in that race.

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