(son of Walter Beaman Jones, Sr.), a Representative from North Carolina; born in Farmville, Pitt County, N.C., February 10, 1943; graduated from Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va., 1961; B.A., Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College), Wilson, N.C., 1966; North Carolina National Guard, 1967-1971; member of the North Carolina state house of representatives, 1983-1992; unsuccessful candidate for nomination to the One Hundred Third Congress in 1992; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Fourth and to the nine succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1995-present).
A strong advocate for the Marine Corps and against both the national debt and money in politics, Jones made national headlines for his change of heart over his Iraq War vote. An early supporter of the war, Jones was generally credited with coining the term “freedom fries” and bringing them to House cafeterias, to protest France’s refusal to join the war effort In Iraq. Jones voted to give President George W. Bush authorization for the war in 2002.
But he soon regretted the vote and said so publicly many times.
Jones was born Feb. 10, 1943, in Farmville. He is survived by his wife, Joe Ann, and daughter, Ashley. Jones’ father, Walter B. Jones Sr., served Eastern North Carolina in the House as a Democrat from 1966 until his death in 1992. He had announced previously that he would not seek re-election. His son ran, as a Democrat, for his father’s seat, but lost in the Democratic primary to Eva Clayton. Jones Jr. changed parties and won a seat in 1994 in a reconfigured district that included many of the same counties that were in his father’s district.
In his congressional office, Jones kept a photograph of himself and his father, in a wheelchair, taken months before his father’s death.