Walter Jones, longtime North Carolina congressman, dead at 76

Rep. Walter B. Jones in 2017

Jones had been placed in hospice a few weeks before his death and had recently undergone surgery for a broken hip. His family issued a statement on January 26 announcing that he had entered hospice care and asking for privacy.

"He was known for his independence, and widely admired across the political spectrum", his office said in a statement.

In a 2018 AP interview, Jones said that he wasn't afraid to oppose GOP leaders "when I don't think they're right".

Back in 2011, Jones was one of 10 members of Congress to file a lawsuit against President Obama in an effort to stop the US from sending troops to Libya, calling the USA bombing an "abuse of power".

Jones, who represented his North Carolina district for over 20 years, was fighting off several illnesses over the last few months, according to Fox News, and was granted a leave of absence in late 2018 after missing several votes on the floor. "He will be sorely missed". He had been re-elected to his 13th term in November and had announced he would retire at the end of the term.

Congressman Jones represented the best of North Carolina politics.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., was first elected to Congress in 1994.

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Prior to his election to Congress, Jones served 10 years in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Jones served on the Committee on Armed Services, and is a member of various caucuses.

"There was no better champion for eastern North Carolina than Walter Jones".

In Congress, Mr. Jones was known as a kind and decent man, even as he was dedicated to his positions, and willing to face the ire of party leaders for his stances.

I send my condolences to his wife Joe Anne, his daughter Ashley, and all those who had the honor of knowing and benefitting from the work of Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr.

"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", added Republican U.S. Sen.

An earlier supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Jones was credited with leading the campaign to rechristen the House cafeteria's French fries as "freedom fries" in response to the Paris government's opposition to military action.

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