Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1994, 10th term.

Born: February 10, 1943, Farmville

Home: Farmville

Education: NC St. U., 1962-65, Atlantic Christian Col., B.A. 1966

Professional Career: Mgr., Walter B. Jones Office Supply Co., 1967–73; Salesman, Dunn Assoc., 1973–82; Pres., Benefit Reserves Inc., 1989–94; Pres., Judson Co., 1990–94.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Joe Anne) , 1 children

Republican Walter Jones, first elected in 1994, is one of his party’s leading iconoclasts. An evangelical Christian and devout social conservative, he has been the GOP’s most fervently antiwar House member.

Jones grew up in eastern North Carolina, attended North Carolina State and Atlantic Christian College, and served in the National Guard. His father, Walter Jones Sr., was a Democratic representative from the old 1st District. The senior Jones served for a quarter-century and chaired the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. The younger Jones, then a Democrat, was elected in 1982 to the state House, where he often broke with party leaders.

In 1992, he ran in the new black-majority 1st District after his father retired. He led the primary with 38% but lost the runoff to Democrat Eva Clayton, an African-American who got 55% to Jones’ 45%. In April 1993, Jones switched to the Republican Party and announced he was running in the 3rd District. This pitted him against four-term Rep. Martin Lancaster, a Democrat who had worked earnestly on local projects. But Lancaster voted for President Bill Clinton’s budget and tax bills and his crime legislation, while failing to persuade Clinton to drop the cigarette tax from health care legislation. Jones ran an ad showing Lancaster jogging with Clinton, with the voiceover message: “How’d Martin Lancaster get so out of touch? Well, look who he’s running around with in Washington.” Jones won 53%-47%.

In the House, Jones’ voting record began consistently conservative and hawkish, but over the years has moderated. He had a remarkable conversion on the issue of the war in Iraq. Jones voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002, as did all but six House Republicans. He even led the 2003 effort, widely spoofed by late-night comics, to rename the House cafeteria’s French fries as “freedom fries” after France declined to support the invasion. Not long afterward, he was profoundly affected by a local Marine’s funeral, setting the stage for an unlikely conversion to passionate war critic.

In 2011, Jones was part of a group of House and Senate members led by liberal Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to announce a plan to reap nearly $1 trillion in defense savings over 10 years to bring down the deficit. And Jones got the Pentagon to investigate substandard mental health treatment for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to Camp Lejeune. He drew headlines in March 2012 when, at an Armed Services hearing, he used an ethnic stereotype in questioning the need to borrow from China to finance the war: “The Chinese—Uncle Chang—is lending us the money to pay that we are spending in Afghanistan,” he said.

Earlier, Jones supported Democratic proposals for a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and he opposed President George W. Bush’s troop surge plan. But he drew the line at a Democratic plan to attach conditions to future war funding, saying that attempts to “starve” the war to bring it to a close were wrong. Jones also began writing letters to the families of every soldier killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By February 2013, he had sent more than 10,800 letters, calling them his “mea culpa to my Lord” for voting for the war. He also began work on a book, My Daddy’s Not Dead Yet, whose title came from a little boy who feared his Marine father would be killed in Iraq.

His independence from his party cost him the top Republican post on the Readiness Subcommittee on Armed Services in 2007. After his punishment at the hands of GOP leaders, Democrats approached Jones about switching parties, but he declined, saying his opposition to abortion rights would make him ill at ease in the party. “I’m a Pat Buchanan American,” he told National Journal in 2009. “I want to stop trying to take care of the world and fix this country.” House Republican leaders were again exasperated with Jones in late 2012 and kicked him off the Financial Services Committee as they organized for the new Congress; GOP leadership aides said it wasn’t because of ideology but because he had not raised enough money for the party.

When his party assumed the House majority in 2011, Jones was the chamber’s most liberal Republican that year, according to National Journal’s rankings (he was third most liberal in 2012). He refused to support John Boehner for House speaker in January 2013, casting his vote for former Comptroller General David Walker, a deficit hawk. He was the only Republican to vote against a fiscal 2011 bill making billions of dollars in spending cuts. In December 2010, he was one of just three Republicans to support a Democratic bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts for low- and middle-income Americans but not for the wealthy.

After the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision on campaign finance, Jones co-sponsored an Obama White House-backed bill aimed at restricting companies’ ability to air campaign ads. He later opposed the bill because of the exemptions granted to the National Rifle Association and other groups.

At home, Jones occasionally has generated controversy on local cultural matters. He called for the state school superintendent to remove from an elementary school a book about two gay princes who get married, and he complained in January 2013 about a federal grant to Craven Community College to acquire 25 books and a DVD series educating Americans about Muslim culture. He asked the college’s board to give equal exposure to books on Christianity. Jones, who posted the Ten Commandments in his Capitol Hill office, supported politically active churches with his proposal to permit them to endorse candidates without losing their tax-exempt status. The bill generated lots of Internet traffic, but the House defeated it, 178-239, in 2002.

His outspoken criticism of the Iraq war brought him a serious primary challenge in 2008 from Onslow County Commissioner Joe McLaughlin, a former Army Ranger officer. McLaughlin called Jones “a poster boy for the Left,” but Jones seemed to benefit from Iraq fatigue among voters, even among military families. McLaughlin was significantly outspent, and Jones won 59%-41%. He won easily in the fall and has not had a serious challenge since.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3415

(202) 225-3286

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2333
Washington, DC 20515-3303

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3415

(202) 225-3286

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2333
Washington, DC 20515-3303

DISTRICT OFFICE

(252) 931-1003

(252) 931-1002

1105-C Corporate Drive
Greenville, NC 27858-4211

DISTRICT OFFICE

(252) 931-1003

(252) 931-1002

1105-C Corporate Drive
Greenville, NC 27858-4211

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(252) 413-9934

PO Box 668
Farmville, NC 27828

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 668
Farmville, NC 27828

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Acquisitions

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Aerospace

Maggie Bice
Legislative Analyst

Agriculture

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Appropriations

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

William Moore
Caseworker

Budget

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Campaign

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Disaster

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Education

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Energy

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Environment

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Finance

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Foreign

Raymond Celeste
Military Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Raymond Celeste
Military Legislative Assistant

Health

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Maggie Bice
Legislative Analyst

Raymond Celeste
Military Legislative Assistant

Housing

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Immigration

Maggie Bice
Legislative Analyst

Intergovernmental

Deborah Marm
Caseworker

Judiciary

Bradley Ryon
Legislative Director

Labor

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Military

Jason Lowry
Caseworker

Raymond Celeste
Military Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Public Works

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Small Business

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Social Security

Maggie Bice
Legislative Analyst

Mike Anglen
Caseworker

Tax

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Telecommunications

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Trade

Joshua Bowlen
Chief of Staff

Transportation

Maggie Ayrea
Legislative Assistant; Scheduler

Veterans

Jason Lowry
Caseworker

Raymond Celeste
Military Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Walter Jones
Votes: 195,571
Percent: 63.11%
Erik Anderson
Votes: 114,314
Percent: 36.89%
2012 PRIMARY
Walter Jones
Votes: 42,644
Percent: 68.99%
Frank Palombo
Votes: 19,166
Percent: 31.01%
2010 GENERAL
Walter Jones
Votes: 143,225
Percent: 71.86%
Johnny Rouse
Votes: 51,317
Percent: 25.75%
2010 PRIMARY
Walter Jones
Votes: 21,551
Percent: 76.88%
Bob Cavanaugh
Votes: 4,221
Percent: 15.06%
Craig Weber
Votes: 2,261
Percent: 8.07%
2008 GENERAL
Walter Jones
Votes: 201,686
Percent: 65.9%
Craig Weber
Votes: 104,364
Percent: 34.1%
2008 PRIMARY
Walter Jones
Votes: 23,699
Percent: 58.97%
Joe McLaughlin
Votes: 16,491
Percent: 41.03%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (72%), 2008 (66%), 2006 (69%), 2004 (71%), 2002 (91%), 2000 (61%), 1998 (62%), 1996 (63%), 1994 (53%)

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