UPDATE: Congressman Jones to be sworn in privately today

Published: Jan. 3, 2019 at 7:12 PM EST
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North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield will be holding the private swear-in ceremony for Republican Walter Jones.

It will take place early Friday evening in Farmville where Jones lives.

Butterfield spoke with WITN's D.C. bureau reporter Kyle Midura, who says he expects Jones to be back at it in a couple of weeks.

No further comment was made on the illness Jones has been suffering from.


There is no word on when one long-time Eastern Carolina Congressman will return to Washington, D.C. after he missed the first day of the new session Thursday.

Republican Walter Jones won re-election to North Carolina's 3rd District in November but he has been absent from Congress for months because of an unspecified illness. Jones' office confirmed his absence and said he will be sworn in on Friday.

Pitt County GOP Chair Mark Stewart says he isn't sure about the congressman's health.

"I haven't heard a whole lot about how Congressman Jones is doing," said Stewart.

The Congressman spent Thursday sick in bed with a chest cold on top of another illness according to his wife. She did not specify what other illness her husband has and neither did his office.

"He is a neighbor but at the same time I don't want to pry. I know he's sick," said James Swafford who says he hasn't seen Jones around their Farmville neighborhood in months. He said, "I know he's not well. We are concerned but I haven't inquired."

Jones has served the 3rd district for more than 20 years and has said that this will be his final term in office. His leave of absence has kept him from casting votes in the U.S. House since September.

Swafford says as much as he wants Jones to be back in Congress representing him, he also wants his neighbor to get well.

"We wish him the best and we want to wish him a speedy recovery and we just thank him for all he's done and for all he's done for the people of Eastern North Carolina," said Swafford.

Jones is expected to be sworn in during a private ceremony in Farmville.

We asked Congressman Jones' office when he was expected to return to Washington, D.C. and did not receive an answer. Jones' district includes Kinston, Greenville, New Bern and the northern half of the coast.

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