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From 'freedom fries' to a political fight
|Last Edited||RP Aug 22, 2007 01:28pm|
|Media||Newspaper - USA Today|
|News Date||Wednesday, August 22, 2007 04:30:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., is a household name in this military-friendly district represented in Congress by his family — first by his late father, a Democrat, and now by him — for most of the last 40 years. Jones' folksy demeanor, commitment to constituent service and deeply Christian values made him virtually unbeatable since he won election to Congress in 1994. |
Until two years ago, Jones was probably best known nationally for championing "freedom fries" to replace "French fries" in the House cafeteria — a hit with the GOP's right-wing base.
But after co-sponsoring a measure with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in June 2005 calling for a time-certain troop withdrawal from Iraq, Jones began taking heat from many of those same supporters.
His U-turn on war policy attracted some unusual publicity for a press-shy conservative: an appearance on ABC News with Kucinich, long considered an anti-war bogeyman by the right, and a cover story in the liberal Mother Jones magazine.
Now, the consequences look more threatening. For the first time in more than a decade, Jones faces a serious primary challenger in Onslow County Commissioner Joe McLaughlin, a former Army Ranger, and their race will test how opposition to the Iraq war plays out in conservative and pro-military America.
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