President Barack Obama's choice to be the top health official at the Veterans Affairs Department has withdrawn his nomination.

Jeffrey Murawsky says he fears trying to win his Senate confirmation could spark a prolonged political battle.

Murawsky is now a regional director for the VA health network and works out of Chicago. He was nominated last month to be VA's undersecretary for health care, replacing Robert Petzel, who resigned under pressure. Petzel had been scheduled to retire later this year, but was asked to leave early amid a firestorm over long patient waits at VA hospitals and clinics and covering up the delays.

The White House said Obama has accepted Murawsky's withdrawal and will move quickly to find a replacement. A commission reviews candidates for the position.