Former Trump White House Doctor Wins Texas House Seat

Former Trump White House Doctor Wins Texas House Seat
Veterans Affairs Secretary Nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson departs the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 25, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Isabel van Brugen
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician, is projected to win his race to serve as the next representative of Texas's Congressional District 13 in the House of Representatives. The Associated Press called the race at 9:30 p.m. CDT.
Jackson, who served three presidents and ran a campaign based on his close relationship with the president, is projected to beat Democratic nominee Gus Trujillo and Libertarian candidate Jack Westbrook. If he wins, Jackson will replace retiring Rep. Mac Thornberry—the House Armed Services Committee’s top Republican—who held the seat for 26 years.
Jackson received the endorsement of the president and launched his run for office after withdrawing from consideration for Veterans Affairs secretary.

A Senate committee at the time was investigating allegations Jackson, a U.S. Navy rear admiral, had overseen a hostile work environment as White House physician.

The document containing the allegations was compiled by staff on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and promoted by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mt.). Jackson vociferously denied the allegations.

A White House doctor accused of initiating them later resigned.

Texas’s 13th Congressional District is rated as “solid Republican” or “safe Republican” by political handicappers, meaning his win in the primary essentially secured the seat.

Jackson says on his campaign website that he supports protecting the country’s borders, the Second Amendment, and pro-life policies.

He gained media attention in 2018 after praising President Donald Trump’s health, performance on a cognitive test, and "great genes,” saying: "I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”

Jackson aligned himself closely with the president during his congressional campaign, echoing the Trump administration’s line that the president was spied on by Obama during his election bid in 2016.

He previously raised questions about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s cognitive capacity to run for president.

Jackson was also the White House physician to presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He is from Levelland, population of about 13,000, in the Texas Panhandle. He earned a marine biology degree from Texas A&M before graduating from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1995.

Jackson has said that the district needs a freshman congressman.

“They need a loud, proud voice for the state of Texas, for the 13th congressional district and for each and every one of them,” he said.

Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.