GOP Maverick Rep. Jones Not a Sure Bet to Seek Reelection

by | Mar 2, 2017 | Carolina Strategic Analysis, Congressional Races, Features, Trump | 4 comments

At the bottom of this interesting profile on U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is this piece of information: the congressman has not yet decided on whether or not to seek reelection and will make up his mind this summer.

Jones, who represents the state’s 3rd congressional district, has an independent streak a mile wide and unsurprisingly has emerged as a Republican critic of President Donald Trump. He has voted against the President’s position more often than any other Republican in Congress and favors an independent investigation of Russia’s potential involvement in the 2016 election.

However, there is a distinct possibility that this term could be Jones’s last. The Representative, while noting that his health is good, is determined not to spend the rest of his life in Congress (as did his father, who died in office in 1992). If that’s the case, then North Carolina could lose its most stubbornly independent – and unpredictable – congressman.

It’s probably too early to speculate on potential successors should Jones decide to call it quits, but it’s perhaps worth noting that it’s a strongly conservative district and a number of Republicans would be interested in running, some of whom are members of the General Assembly. The 3rd district also boasts a well-organized Tea Party movement – maybe Rep. Speciale will run.

Whatever happens, should Jones retire it’s safe to say his replacement will almost certainly be less inclined to vote against the wishes of the Republican leadership. Democrats and centrists alike – as well as Jones’s paleoconservative base – would miss him.


  1. LuMack

    Michael Speciale, he who gassed called women marchers Snowflakes, who is sponsoring a bill that will allow NC to secede from the Union, who went way out of his way to insult Governor McCrory’s wife over the puppy mill bill? And he would probably win. The 3rd district now has a man who is Smart. . Principled. And conservative. They would get a loose cannon who has no respect for anyone.
    And they would deserve him.

    • Joanne

      I grew up in Pitt County also and will certainly miss Walter, Jr. if he retires. I just hope.that he will run at least one more time.
      I surely do not want to see Speciale in!

  2. Fetzer MillS Jr

    I knew Walter, Jr. fairly well when he was in the state legislature and a Democrat. He’s one of the few politicians I know who rarely does the most politically expedient but thinks things over and does what he thinks is the right thing. I’d call him a true patriot.

  3. Stephen Lewis, Sr.

    Walter, Jr. or little Walter as folks in Pitt County call him, where I grew up, He was actually my NC State Representative when I lived there, is only three years short of serving longer than his father. As a Democrat he was one of the more conservative Democrats, when he became a Republican, I might add he had been rumored for a party switch for several years before he finally did, I thought he was going to be one of the conservative Republicans. Jesse Helms, who himself once been a Democrat predicted on day Walter Jr would hold his senate seat. But little Walter had a tough time fitting in with the Republican party almost from the very beginning. It should be said the some in the Pitt County GOP never really did want him, I know this because I heard it personally from them. Although he was always personally popular in Pitt county as was Walter Sr, he never could get people from his organization elected to other offices and the Pitt county GOP was more time than not run by people outside his organization. He was planning on running for the US Senate in both 2002 and 2004 but the state party seemed to be cool that idea preferring other people. In Washington he has few allies in Republican congress. He has been rumored for a while to be thinking about party switching again, I have been told by people close to him, but not him personally, that if the Democratic party could be more tolerant to a pro-life view point he may very well come back to the Democrats. So there now he may retire I think it will be interesting to see what he really does end up doing.

Related Posts


Get the latest posts from PoliticsNC delivered right to your inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!