Jones, who turned against Iraq War, dies at 76

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Stephen Dinan

Rep. Wal­ter B. Jones Jr., a 24-year vet­eran of Con­gress who built a record of mav­er­ick con­ser­vatism, died Sun­day at the age of 76.

Mr. Jones rep­re­sented east­ern North Carolina, reg­u­larly turn­ing aside GOP pri­mary chal­lenges then win­ning over­whelm­ingly in the gen­eral elec­tion.

He was known on Capi­tol Hill for hav­ing voted for the 2002 res­o­lu­tion au­tho­riz­ing the war in Iraq, and even pushed the term “free­dom fries” as a state­ment of pa­tri­o­tism as the U.S. pre­pared for war.

He came to re­gret his vote and reg­u­larly joined with anti-war op­po­nents in try­ing to bring troops home. His mil­i­tary-heavy dis­trict was a part of his change of heart, and his of­fice had a wall of pho­tos of Camp Le­je­une Marines killed in the war on ter­ror­ism.

“Wal­ter Jones was a man of de­cency, honor, and up­stand­ing moral char­ac­ter,” said North Carolina GOP Chair­man Robin Hayes, who used to serve in Con­gress with Mr. Jones.

“Jones’ legacy will un­doubt­edly be the un­equiv­o­cal ad­vo­cacy he put forth for the men and women who serve in this coun­try’s armed forces, and not just those who lived in his dis­trict, but across the na­tion,” Mr. Hayes said.

Mr. Jones was a legacy in Con­gress, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of his father, Wal­ter B. Jones Sr., who rep­re­sented east­ern North Carolina for 26 years as a Demo­crat.

The son first ran as a Demo­crat for his father’s seat but lost, then switched par­ties and ran again, win­ning of­fice in 1994.

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.

“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,” said Sen. Thom Til­lis, North Carolina Repub­li­can.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Rep. Wal­ter B Jones Jr., North Carolina Repub­li­can, died Sun­day at the age of 76. He served in Con­gress for 24 years.

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