|Stuart James Bishop|
January 9, 2012 – January 2024
|Preceded by|| Page Cortez|
(outgoing State Senate President)
|Succeeded by||Josh Carlson|
|Born|| August 19, 1975|
Jeanerette, beria Parish, Louisiana
|Spouse(s)||Kim Dugas Bishop|
|Children||Donald and Cooper Bishop|
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University|
Stuart James Bishop (born August 19, 1975) is a businessman in Lafayette, Louisiana, who is the Republican departing state representative for District 43. In 2012, he succeeded his fellow Republican, Page Cortez of Lafayette, who was instead elected state senator and was elevated to Senate President on January 13, 2020.
With no previous political experience, Bishop was the only unopposed candidate for an open House seat in the Louisiana nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011. Similarly, Cortez had no opponent in the 2011 Senate race to succeed the term-limited Michael J. Michot, another Lafayette businessman and a Democrat-turned Republican.
A native of Jeanerette, a small city in sugar-growing Iberia Parish, Bishop graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In 1997, after leaving LSU, he moved to Lafayette. He is an officer of his family's business, Baldwin Redi-Mix Concrete. Bishop and his wife, the former Kim Dugas, have two sons, Donald and Cooper Bishop.
Even before it was clear that Bishop would run unopposed for the House seat, the candidate drew the endorsement of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, a statewide trade association founded by the late Ed Steimel. Bishop also held the support of the Tea Party movement, which endorsed his candidacy based on Bishop's stated belief in smaller government and willingness to reduce regulations that hamper business growth.
As he took his legislative seat in the second term of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, Bishop declared that the state is moving in the right direction: "I believe that business is obviously the backbone of everything, and I'm going to be a pro-business politician by all means." Bishop is a member of the Concrete and Aggregate Association of Louisiana, the National Redi-Mix Concrete Association, Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, and the Lafayette Education Foundation.
Bishop's legislative ratings have ranged from 97 to 100 percent from LABI. In 2012, he was rated 100 percent by the National Federation of Independent Business. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 90 percent each year. Right to Life rated him 100 percent. In 2013 and 2014, the Louisiana Association of Educators rated him 0 percent for both years.
In 2014, Bishop co-sponsored the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; the bill was approved by the full House, 88-5. In 2014, he voted to extend the time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted to prohibit the transportation of dogs in the beds of pick-up trucks while traveling on interstate highways. He did not vote on the requirement that companies give notice when they engage in hydraulic fracking. He voted against repealing the anti-sodomy laws. He co-sponsored the establishment in 2013 of surrogacy contracts. He voted to reduce penalties for the possession of marijuana. He supported lifetime concealed carry gun permits and voted for concealed carry in restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages. He opposed making information about permit holders a matter of public record. Bishop in 2013 voted against an increase in judicial pay and opposed the removal of the mandatory retirement age for judges. In 2012, he voted to prohibit telephone usage while one is driving. Bishop supported the requirement for drug testing of welfare recipients.
In April 2017, the House Education Committee approved legislation introduced by Representative Bishop, to require public schools to add litter prevention and awareness instruction for pupils in kindergarten to the fifth grade. "I grew up on Bayou Teche, and it's filthy; I live half a mile from the Vermilion River, and it's filthy. It's a travesty what we are doing to our state. I'm tired of seeing cans and bottles floating down our bayous," Bishop said in plugging for his bill. A few weeks earlier, then state parks director Robert J. Barham, a former state senator from Morehouse Parish, in testimony before a House committee echoed Bishop's stance. Barham termed Louisiana "the trashiest state in the nation. We should hang our heads in shame when Arkansas and Mississippi are cleaner than Louisiana."
Fistfight with colleague
On May 15, 2018, Bishop and then state Senator Norby Chabert, a Democrat-turned-Republican from Houma in Terrebonne Parish engaged in a fistfight over legislative disagreement at the River Room in Baton Rouge. The two apologized for attacking each other.
Bishop joins Democrats in choosing the House Speaker
Though is voting record has been conservatives on many issues, Bishop joined twenty-three dissident Moderate Republicans to elect Republican Clay Schexnayder of Ascension Parish as House Speaker. Schexnayder defeated the more conservative Republican challenger, Sherman Mack of Livingston Parish, 60-45. Schexnayder's victory was sealed with the support of all thirty-five House Democrats, many of whom are members of the Black Caucus, two Independent legislators (Roy Daryl Adams and Joseph Marino) and the twenty-three dissident votes, including Schexnayder's own vote. Statewide radio commentator Moon Griffon, based in Bishop's Lafayette, is a long-time critic of the representative whom he calls Stuart "Very Little" Bishop. Griffon labeled the twenty-three dissenters as the Fraud Squad.
Bishop was term-limited and unable to seek a fourth House term in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 14, 2023. He had introduced legislation to extend the three-term limit for the legislature to four terms so that he could have sought reelection. Bishop will be succeeded in the state House by fellow Republican Josh Carlson, who polled 84 percent of the primary vote in a two-candidate field.
- Stuart Bishop. Mylife.com. Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
- Two New Senators Walk in Unopposed. lapolitics.com. Retrieved on September 16, 2011; specific information no longer on-line.
- "Many La. incumbents get a free pass," Alexandria Town Talk, September 9, 2011.
- Walter Pierce (February 18, 2011). Bishop eyeing Cortez seat. theind.com. Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
- The TEA Party of Lafayette endorses Mr. Stuart Bishop for District 43 State Representative. Teapartyoflafayette.com (August 28, 2011). Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
- Stuart Bishop's Ratings and Endorsements. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
- Stuart Bishop's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart (January 31, 2020).
- Greg Hilburn (April 28, 2017). Trashiest state? Lawmaker believes kids can change La.'s litter culture. The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
- Lawmakers come to blows. Monroe News Star (May 16, 2018). Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
- The Moon Griffon Show, January 23, 2020.
- The Moon Griffon Show, March 11, 2022.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 14, 2023.