Former White House physician and retired Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson will run for a seat in the House of Representatives in Texas, formally filing papers just hours before a state deadline.
Jackson will run as a Republican for the seat held by retiring Rep. Mac Thornberry (R), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. The rural Texas Panhandle district is heavily Republican; President Trump scored almost 80 percent of the vote there in 2016.
Jackson, who has never run for public office before, will face almost a dozen other Republicans who have already entered the race.
The Texas Tribune first reported Jackson’s decision to formally file. He had been rumored to be interested in the seat for about a month.
Jackson retired from the Navy just days ago after 24 years. He spent more than a decade as a top physician to Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — including five years as the top White House physician — before Trump nominated him to become the secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Jackson’s nomination stalled over concerns about his handling of the White House office.
Trump later appointed him as the president’s chief medical adviser, a newly created position.
The Navy’s Inspector General is still investigating allegations that he improperly handled prescription drugs during his White House years. Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer approved of Jackson’s request to retire.