Republican Rep. Walter Jones dies at 76

Walter Jones

Walter Jones

Congressman Walter Jones died Sunday at the age of 76.

The Republican congressman died in his Greenville, North Carolina, home Sunday, his office said in a statement, three weeks after he suffered a broken hip and underwent surgery. His family issued a statement on January 26 announcing that he had entered hospice care and asking for privacy.

"Congressman Jones will long be remembered for his honesty, faith and integrity", a statement from his office said. 'With a kind heart and the courage of his convictions, he dedicated his life to serving his Savior and to standing up for Americans who needed a voice'.

The Congressman had been battling an undisclosed illness for several months forcing him to miss votes on Capital Hill since the fall.

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

State Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said "North Carolina lost a strong advocate and I lost a friend".

Butterfield said he will miss Jones' "humility, intellect and unwavering love of his community".

His death means Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will schedule a special election to decide who will complete Jones' two-year term in the coastal 3rd Congressional District. He had been re-elected to his 13th term in November and had announced he would retire at the end of the term. An early supporter of the Iraq war, Jones later came to regret his vote to authorize USA involvement.

Jones was among the House members who led a campaign that resulted in the chamber's cafeteria offering "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" - instead of French fries and French toast.

After faithfully representing the people of Eastern North Carolina in Congress and the state legislature for over 34 years, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) passed away this afternoon in Greenville, North Carolina.

The North Carolina congressman routinely wrote to families of military service members who died in combat, the Associated Press reported in 2017.

'He always did what he felt was right for his constituents, his district, and his country, and it was no wonder why he was so widely admired and trusted.

To serve alongside Walter Jones was a great honor and privilege.

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