Veteran North Carolina congressman, Walter B Jones, dies on his 76th birthday

Walter Jones

Walter Jones

(R-N.C.), a one-time supporter of the Iraq War who regretted his vote after attending the 2003 funeral of a Marine killed in action, died Sunday, on his 76th birthday. However, he underwent surgery for a broken hip on January 15 and his office announced on January 26 that he had entered hospice. He had been granted a leave of absence from Congress in late 2018 and was sworn in for his last term back home.

Jones, who had served in Congress since 1995, had already announced his 2018 campaign would be his last. Jones paid a price for his independence within his own party caucus, but he had his priorities straight when it came to important issues of war and peace.

Jones later filed a bill to require withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in 2006, once it was discovered the country had no weapons of mass destruction. "He was a champion for our men and women in uniform and their families, always mindful of their service and sacrifice", his office said in a Facebook post Sunday.

In a 2013 interview with NC Policy Watch, Jones discussed the debt ceiling, gun control, immigration, and the damaging influence of Citizens United.

Republican congressman Walter B Jones, known for changing the name of French fries in government cafeterias to "freedom fries", has died.

Jones, who had just begun his 13th term in the House of Representatives, was a fairly reliable constitutionalist, with a lifetime score of 81 percent on The New American's Freedom Index. "Some may not have agreed with him, but all recognised that he did what he thought was right". "The family asks for your prayers, and for their privacy to be respected during this hard time", a statement released on his official congressional website said at the time.

State Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said "North Carolina lost a strong advocate and I lost a friend". 'He will be long remembered for his tireless advocacy for Eastern North Carolina, which he loved dearly, and for always following his convictions, no matter the political cost.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of a long time leader, proud North Carolinian, a devoted family man of deep faith, and my friend of over forty years- Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr". He became a Republican and was sent to Washington two years later.

"Walter Jones was one of a kind". He served in the North Carolina National Guard and helped lead his family business before running for office. He and Cooper were among 20 House Democrats who joined Republicans in toppling state Democratic Speaker Liston Ramsey from power in 1989.

Gov. Roy Cooper mourned Jones' passing in a Sunday evening statement.

Joe Anne Jones and her husband Walter have one daughter, Ashley Elizabeth Jones.

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