Sen. Ed Jones, a Democrat who represented voters in Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, and Perquimans counties, has died, according to Minority Leader Sen. Martin Nesbitt.
"He was one of the good ones," Nesbitt said, adding that Jones had been sick for much of the past year.
Jones, a former mayor of Enfield, was first appointed to the state House in April of 2005. He won election to the House in 2006 but was then appointed to the state Senate in early 2007. He won re-election to his state Senate seat in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Jones served in the 82 Airborne division and was a state trooper for over 30 years.
The Daily Herald newspaper says that Jones had suffered from pancreatic cancer.
Local Democratic leaders in his senate district will choose his replacement, who will then be appointed by the governor.
“Sen. Ed Jones was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply for people – his family, friends, constituents, colleagues and even strangers,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger. “He was truly one of the finest people I have ever met, and I will miss him greatly.”
Gov. Bev Perdue added her condolences.
“Sen. Ed Jones was a dedicated public servant of North Carolina serving as a State Highway Patrolman for 30 years, former mayor and police chief of Enfield," she said. "He was an advocate for education and a strong voice for the law enforcement community in our state. Most of all, he was a great friend to me and I will always cherish our friendship. Bob and I thank him for his service to the people of North Carolina, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.”