Jones not running in 2020; misses first day of new Congress

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2019

North Carolina Republican congressman Walter B. Jones will not seek office in 2020.

The congressman, who represents North Carolina’s third district in the eastern part of the state, indicated during the 2018 campaign that he would serve only one more term. On Jan. 2, his office confirmed that he would step down after the 116th Congress.

Jones was absent from the first day of the new Congress due to illness. He was to be sworn in privately Friday evening, January 4 in Farmville by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, reports WITN.

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In December, Jones was granted a leave of absence for the rest of the term. According to various news reports, he has not cast a vote since sometime in September 2018.

Walter Jones was first sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995 after ten years serving in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Jones is a senior member of the House Committee on Armed Services and serves on that committee’s Military Personnel Subcommittee.

In 1998, he sponsored legislation, which was enacted, to protect the wild horses on Shackleford Banks in the Cape Lookout National Seashore.

Jones was a big help during the fight for motorized access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches. He was always available to the leaders of the Outer Banks Preservation Association.

In 2010, Jones was named #17 out of 535 on The Hill Newspaper’s 25 Hardest Working Lawmakers list. In 2004, a survey of top Capitol Hill staff conducted by Washingtonian Magazine ranked Congressman Jones #1 out of the 435 U.S. House members in the “Just Plain Nice” category, states his official biography.

North Carolina’s third district includes the Outer Banks and the Crystal Coast. The following counties in whole or in part are in the district: Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt and Tyrrell.

In 2018, two Republicans challenged Jones in the party’s primary. Jones had no opposition in the general election.