Congressman Walter Jones Jr. of North Carolina dies at 76

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. of North Carolina, a once-fervent supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq who later became an outspoken critic of the war, has died at age 76.

The congressman's office says in a statement that Jones died Sunday in Greenville. His health declining, Jones entered hospice care in January after breaking his hip. He had been granted a leave of absence from Congress in late 2018.

He had served in the House since 1995 and had already announced his 2018 campaign would be his last.

Jones was a political maverick unafraid to buck his own party. He was one of the first Republicans to reverse direction on the war in Iraq, even as his North Carolina district included the Marine installation Camp Lejeune.