Dr. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's former chief physician and one-time nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, will win the Republican runoff for the US House seat in Texas' 13th Congressional District, CNN projects.
Trump had backed Jackson, who is a Texas native, while his opponent Josh Winegarner had the support of outgoing 13th District Rep. Mac Thornberry, who announced last year that he would not run for reelection.
The district is heavily conservative and was carried by Trump by more than 60 points. As a result, the Republican nominee is well positioned to keep the seat in GOP hands in the November general election.
The President championed Jackson's candidacy, tweeting in February, "Ronny is strong on Crime and Borders, GREAT for our Military and Vets, and will protect your #2A."
Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral, withdrew from consideration as Trump's nominee for secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2018 over allegations that he was "abusive" toward colleagues, loosely handled prescription pain medications and was periodically intoxicated. Jackson denied all of the allegations leveled against him, calling them "completely false and fabricated."
During his run, Jackson, who served as White House physician during the Obama administration as well, embraced the right-wing conspiracy, promoted by President Trump without offering proof, that then-President Barack Obama spied on Trump's campaign, a move that angered some of the Obama aides who had served alongside him in the White House.
In March, he finished second in the 15-person GOP field, far behind Winegarner.