Longtime N.C. Rep. Walter Jones dies on 76th birthday

Longtime N.C. Rep. Walter Jones dies on 76th birthday

Walter Jones died on Sunday at age 76, according to a statement on the congressman's website.

Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican representing North Carolina's 3rd congressional district, died Sunday on his seventy-sixth birthday.

"Congressman Jones was a man of the people".

"Congressman Walter B. Jones' (NC-3) health has declined after sustaining a broken hip last week".

This story is breaking and will be updated. An early supporter of the Iraq war, Jones later came to regret his vote to authorize US involvement.

"When I went to the floor of the House to give the president the authority to go into Iraq, I did not feel that the briefing that I had attended had convinced me that there were weapons of mass destruction, and yet I was not strong enough to vote my conscience", he told Antiwar.com in 2009. "He was a champion for our men and women in uniform and their families, always mindful of their service and sacrifice", a statement from Jones' office said. State law requires the schedule include primary races as well in the GOP-leaning district.

Jones also was a relentless advocate for campaign finance reform and controlling the national debt. "Some may not have agreed with him, but all recognised that he did what he thought was right".

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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.

Either Jones or his father, Walter Jones Sr., represented eastern North Carolina in Congress for five decades.

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to North Carolina's congressional districts in March, though it remains to be seen how any ruling throwing out the districts would affect a special election for the seat.

Nevertheless, Congressman Jones was widely respected by both Republicans and Democrats. His death will not get as much attention as the recent passing of former representative John Dingell, Jr., who was the longest-serving member of Congress in US history and in honor of whom flags were at half-staff at government buildings last week. '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.

"Walter Jones was a man of decency, honor, and upstanding moral character", Hayes said.

Gov. Roy Cooper mourned Jones' passing in a Sunday evening statement. The school has since been renamed Barton College.

He served in the North Carolina state House from 1982 through 1992, where he often clashed with Democratic leaders. He is survived by his wife, Jo Anne Jones, whom he married in 1966, and his daughter Ashley.

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