Longtime North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones passed away on Sunday morning, his 76th birthday. He had received a leave of absence from the House of Representatives on account of poor health recently.
Jones had represented North Carolina’s Third Congressional District in the House since 1995. His father, Walter Sr, was also a longtime North Carolinian member of Congress, representing an adjacent constituency from 1966-1992.
Jones became known for a willingness to buck Republican party leadership and align with libertarian, populist and Tea Party elements throughout his career.
After strongly supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Jones did an about face on the war, becoming one of the strongest Republican critics of foreign entanglements and regime change in the Middle East. He defeated a primary challenge by a former Bush administration official in 2016.
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He viewed his initial vote in support of the war with profound regret, and sent more than 12,000 letters to family members of troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
In accordance with his anti-war views, Jones became one of the few members of Congress to endorse Texas Congressman Ron Paul when he ran for President in 2008 and 2012.
Jones is survived by his wife and daughter. He was known as a devout Christian.