NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - North Carolina Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) died at the age of 76 in Greenville Sunday afternoon, weeks after entering hospice care.
According to a press release from his office, Congressman Jones represented the people of Eastern North Carolina in Congress and the state legislature for over 34 years,
On Jan. 26, Congressman Jones entered hospice care after breaking his hip. A press release from his office said his health had declined after suffering the injury.
He suffered the hip injury on Jan. 14.
Congressman Jones was first sworn in to the U.S. House in 1995, following 10 years of service as an elected member of the North Carolina General Assembly.
“Jones strongly believes in the strength of faith and family, and has worked to represent the citizens of Eastern North Carolina with honor and integrity,” the biography on his website reads.
Jones was a member of the Democratic Party in North Carolina’s state legislature until 1994, when he switched to Republican during Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” and ran for the 3rd Congressional District. He was elected in 1994 and sworn in 1995.
Since the 1994 election, Congressman Jones has been recognized by a number of different associations and organizations for his efforts in Congress.
Several North Carolina officials issued statements following the news of his death.
“Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr. was the true embodiment of a public servant. 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. 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. It was a true honor to serve with Walter Jones. Susan and I send our deepest condolences to Joe Anne and his loving family,” U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) said.
“Today, North Carolina lost a strong advocate and I lost a friend. Congressman Jones served the people of his state with passion in the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress. During his tenure, our state and country went through important trials and came out stronger because of his work. I will miss him, and so will thousands of others," Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said.
“Congressman Walter B. Jones was a friend and respected colleague. He served his District and our nation with great pride and integrity. Congressman Jones was an experienced and steady voice of reason within our delegation, he always put people before politics. My prayers are with his wife Joe Anne, his daughter Ashley, his staff and the people of the 3rd Congressional District. Congressman Jones will be missed," Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (D-NC-12) said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper tweeted about the congressman’s death Sunday evening.