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In Memoriam: Rep. Walter B. Jones, Lone Warrior For Liberty

Walter B. Jones
Rep. Walter B. Jones (NC-3) was called home Sunday afternoon in Greenville, North Carolina. Congressman Jones was 76 and was the faithful servant of the people North Carolina for over 34 years – first as a state legislator and, since 1995, as Member of Congress for North Carolina’s Third Congressional District, which includes the cities of Kinston, Greenville and New Bern. He was re-elected in November after running unopposed.

Prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Jones served for 10 years in the North Carolina House of Representatives. His father, Walter Jones, Sr., represented North Carolina's neighboring 1st District as a Democrat between 1966 and his death in 1992.

A relentless opponent of big government, Mr. Jones was a solid vote for conservative values throughout his long career in public service.

"Deeply saddened by the passing of Walter Jones—a beloved colleague and friend who had a profound impact on all through his graciousness, character, and committed Christian faith," Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11) and Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted. "God be with and keep his family. We will miss him."

Mr. Jones is most often remembered in the establishment media for 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 in the Middle East.

However, we remember Mr. Jones as one of the few men in Washington with the principles, integrity and humility necessary to look at the decision to enter the war in Iraq through the lens of subsequent events and regret the consequences of his vote.

"I did not do what I should have done to read and find out whether Bush was telling us the truth about Saddam being responsible for 9/11 and having weapons of mass destruction," Jones told North Carolina radio host Tyler Cralle in 2015. "Because I did not do my job then, I helped kill 4,000 Americans, and I will go to my grave regretting that,” said Mr. Jones according to reporting by Fox News.

Mr. Jones’ sense of integrity and unwavering adherence to conservative principles and values often left him as a lonely voice battling Washington’s Republican establishment; he voted against John Boehner for Speaker of the House and voted against his establishment Republican successor, Paul Ryan, as well.

During the 2018 primary Ryan’s political arm did not back Jones’s campaign, even as it provided financial help for other Republican lawmakers facing primary challengers.

Rep. Jones’ anti-establishment positions often drew the wrath of the DC Republican Party’s permanent political class, but Mr. Jones weathered every challenge in large measure because his constituents knew him and trusted his judgement and conservative values.

In an exclusive interview on Breitbart News not long before the 2018 primary Mr. Jones summed-up what his campaign was all about:

“I’m independent,” Jones said. “I’m a conservative. I’m concerned about the future of America and I would tell you when you look at the influence on the policy whether it be the Democrats in charge or the Republicans in charge, who governs with the policies of America? It’s the special interests. We want to send, at least North Carolina does not—I hope they do not—want to send a person who came out of the swamp now wants to say they’re going to go up there and represent the average people of eastern North Carolina. In my heart, I just don’t believe it’s true. If we’re going to continue, and you probably know this Matt but I’m going to be very quick, this came out from Fox two years ago. Lobbying Congress in 1986, $61 million was spent—an average of $113,000 per lawmaker. Matt, in 2016, $3.1 billion was spent—an average of $5.8 million per lawmaker. And you want to send a lobbyist who is part of buying votes to Washington, DC? I would think not. I am a strong advocate of reform. I am seeing what has happened is that Congress is bought and paid for by the special interests.”

Jones said his district is a “conservative district and it is a district that believes in fairness and integrity and they know that Washington, because of the influence of money, has lost integrity to represent the people—and that is why again I am running for re-election.”

“I am going to do everything I can to make sure one individual will have one vote on behalf of the people of the district, and that one vote will not be bought and paid for by leadership or outside forces—because when you really come down to it, if you lose your integrity in Washington you are out,” Jones said.

Rep. Walter B. Jones never lost his integrity and we, and all who love liberty, will miss him and honor him as one of Washington’s few lonely warriors for liberty.

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