Car dealer Scott Rigell won the GOP nomination in the Virginia's 2nd district Tuesday after securing 41 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.
He'll challenge freshman Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) for the seat in November.
The win is good news for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which recruited Rigell to run and promoted his candidacy.
He was a good fundraiser but had difficulty burnishing his GOP credentials after it emerged he donated $2,000 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 and his car dealerships received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds through the federal "cash for clunkers" program.
He has attacked the president and the clunkers program in the primary campaign.
Tea Party groups endorsed businessman Ben Loyola (R), his closest rival, who finished with 26 percent of vote, according to unofficial results.