Jones wins last campaign, fends off two challengers
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
GREENVILLE — U.S. Rep. Walter Jones’ last campaign for the 3rd Congressional District ended in victory on Tuesday, with the 11-term congressman winning 43 percent of the unofficial vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Jones received 20,862 votes; his two-time opponent Phil Law received 14,266 votes, or 29 percent of ballots cast, and Scott Dacey, the Craven County commissioner who ran a series of blistering attack ads, received 13,380 votes or nearly 28 percent of ballots cast, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
“This reaffirms with me the integrity of the voters in eastern North Carolina,” Jones said shortly after his victory was declared.
Jones said as he visited voting precincts on Tuesday, he had no idea what the vote outcome might be because the campaign did no polling.
“I had confidence in the people; the majority of people care about honesty and integrity and I am known in Washington, D.C., as a man of honesty and integrity,” he said.
The 3rd Congressional District encompasses 17 counties running from the Virginia state line in the north to Onslow County in the south and from the coast in the east to Pitt County in the west.
Out of those 17 counties, Jones won 14, including topping Dacey by nine votes in Craven County, where Dacey is a county commissioner.
“I am grateful to the voters of Craven County. Mr. Dacey was so negative and so much of what he included in the Soros ad was an outright lie,” Jones said. “I don’t have anything against Mr. Dacey, but it was low.”
Dacey, who has a partnership in a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, ran a series of campaign ads that reported Jones had connections to liberal billionaire political activists George and Jonathan Soros. Other ads alleged Jones had a close working relationship with U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a liberal California Democrat.
“Politics is tough, nobody will ever dispute that,” Jones said. “But an outright lie, to say we coordinated with George Soros, it’s the most ridiculous thing.”
Dacey did win two counties, Jones and Lenoir. Law, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, won Onslow County, defeating Jones by 1,400 votes.
Earlier in the campaign Jones announced that if elected, this will be his last term. He reaffirmed that commitment on Tuesday.
“Washington is too much controlled by money,” he said. “Members of Congress should be more interested in the people they represent instead of raising money. But in both parties, money is controlling policy.”
No Democrat filed to run in the 3rd Congressional District. Barring no write-in candidate emerges, Jones will win in November. Tuesday night he pledged to continue his agenda of lobbying the House leadership for a floor debate on the United States’ continuing presence in Afghanistan, the need to end deficit spending and securing funding for beach nourishment programs.
“I will always come home every weekend so I can do the shopping for my wife, go to church and listen to the people,” Jones said.