North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones died Sunday at the age of 76.
His office said the Republican congressman “passed away this afternoon in Greenville, N.C.”
In January, his office said he had entered hospice care after breaking his hip in a fall. Before that, he had been battling ailments for months. He was granted a leave of absence from Congress in late 2018 after missing a number of votes.
Jones was re-elected to the U.S. House in November after running unopposed in a district that includes Kinston, Greenville and New Bern. He had served in Congress since 1995.
His father, Walter Jones Sr., had served in Congress from 1966 until his death in 1992.
Last year, Jones had found himself increasingly at odds with President Donald Trump and other members of his party, voting against the president’s tax plan, among other things.
“It’s absolutely about principle,” the 75-year-old said in his Greenville campaign office, where he’s gearing up for what he says will be his last re-election bid. “When I leave Congress, I would rather have one thing said about me: ‘I will never question Walter Jones’ integrity.’”
In tribute Sunday, Jones’ office stated: “Congressman Jones was a man of the people. With a kind heart and the courage of his convictions, he dedicated his life to serving his Savior and to standing up for Americans who needed a voice. He was a champion for our men and women in uniform and their families, always mindful of their service and sacrifice. Congressman Jones will long be remembered for his honesty, faith and integrity. He was never afraid to take a principled stand. He was known for his independence, and widely admired across the political spectrum. Some may not have agreed with him, but all recognized that he did what he thought was right.“
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine