Politics

Walter Jones Defeats Repeat Primary Challenger

GOP operative Taylor Griffin came much closer in 2014

Walter B. Jones survived a repeat primary challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walter B. Jones survived a repeat primary challenge from GOP operative Taylor Griffin Tuesday night.

With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Jones led Griffin 66 to 15 percent. Phil Law was in second place with 19 percent of the vote. 

North Carolina did away with the 40 percent threshold requirement for its House primaries after court-mandated redistricting pushed back the primaries from March .

Jones will likely cruise to a 12th term in his Safe Republican seat in coastal North Carolina.

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In 2014, Griffin came within 6 points of knocking off Jones . Outside groups spent more than $1 million during that race to paint Jones as a “liberal .” But outside spending was comparatively lower this cycle.    

Jones has often broken with his party.

Part of the duo that renamed French fries in the House cafeteria “freedom fries” after France refused to go along with the U.S. plans for military action in Iraq, Jones later disavowed his votes to authorize the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s been one the party’s most outspoken critics of overseas military intervention.  

[ Walter Jones' Leadership Letter Solidifies Outsider Image Ahead of Rematch

He voted against John A. Boehner for speaker in January 2015. And during last fall’s leadership drama, he was again in the spotlight after  sending a letter to Republican leadership asking anyone who had committed “misdeeds” to withdraw from leadership elections.

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