Jones spent most of his first decade in Congress as a dependable Republican vote who didn’t draw a lot consideration. Nonetheless, he first made nationwide information in 2003 when he was one among two Republican congressmen who, offended at France’s opposition to the Bush administration’s plans to invade Iraq, directed Home cafeterias to redub french fries “freedom fries” and french toast “freedom toast.”
However inside a number of years, Jones got here to remorse his shenanigans and emerged as one of many few Republicans in Congress to oppose the Iraq Conflict. The congressman first realized he had made a mistake in voting to take the nation to struggle after he attended the funeral of an area Marine killed in Iraq throughout the first month of the battle. He quickly started sending letters to the households of troopers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan in what he known as his “mea culpa to my Lord.” By December of 2017, he had despatched over 12,000 of those messages.
Jones attracted a main problem in 2008 over his opposition to the Iraq Conflict, however he took 59 p.c of the vote and obtained to relaxation straightforward for a number of years. Nonetheless, he by no means stopped being a maverick. He notably was one of many few Republicans who voted for the Dodd-Frank banking reform regulation, and he voted towards John Boehner for speaker of the Home in each 2013 and 2015.
Some establishment-oriented Republicans tried to take Jones out within the 2014 main by spending closely on former George W. Bush aide Taylor Griffin. Jones survived, however by only a 51-45 unfold. The shut shave didn’t change his habits, although, and Griffin sought a rematch two years later. Nonetheless, fewer main voters have been within the temper to punish Jones this time, and he received with 65 p.c of the vote.
Jones continued to check how a lot he may vote towards his get together’s management throughout the first two years of the Trump administration. He notably voted towards the Home model of Trumpcare and the GOP management’s tax invoice, and he was the one Republican within the chamber to vote towards repealing main elements of the Dodd-Frank Act.
In 2018, Jones once more earned a main problem from a pair of opponents, Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey and retired Marine Phil Legislation. The 2 might have break up the anti-incumbent vote, although, and allowed Jones to flee one final time, because the congressman beat Legislation 43-29, with Dacey taking 28. Whereas Jones received, the race demonstrated that a majority of the GOP citizens was prepared for change, and through this battle, he stated that he wouldn’t search re-election in 2020.
Nonetheless, Jones by no means obtained to go to D.C. for his last time period. Jones missed each vote within the Home from November till the top of his life due to an undisclosed sickness, and he was sworn in to his last time period within the Home again residence in North Carolina as a result of he was too unwell to make it to Washington. Within the last week of January, Jones’ workforce introduced that the congressman’s well being had declined after he broke his hip on Jan. 14, and he was checked into hospice. Jones died Sunday after about two weeks in hospice care.
Jones’ district, which incorporates the Outer Banks alongside the North Carolina coast, has lengthy been safely purple, and Jones’ successor is all however sure to be a fellow Republican. This seat will likely be stuffed in a particular election on a date that has but to be introduced.