Wesley T. Bishop

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Wesley Tyron Bishop

Louisiana State Senator
for District 4 (Orleans Parish)
In office
January 11, 2016 – January 13, 2020
Preceded by Edwin R. Murray
Succeeded by James Charles "Jimmy" Harris

Louisiana State Representative for
District 99 (Orleans Parish)
In office
January 2012 – January 2016
Preceded by Charmaine Marchand Stiaes
Succeeded by James Charles "Jimmy" Harris

Louisiana State Representative
for District 101 (Orleans Parish)
In office
2011 – January 2012
Preceded by Cedric Richmond
Succeeded by Edward Clark James

Born October 24, 1967
Place of birth missing
Spouse(s) Shannon Bishop
Children John Bishop
Residence New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater (1) Southern University at New Orleans

(2) University of Mississippi
(3) Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University

Occupation Attorney

Criminal justice professor, department chairman, and graduate school dean at Southern University in New Orleans

Wesley Tyron Bishop (born October 24, 1967)[1] is an African-American Democratic former state senator for District 4 in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. Formerly, he was the state representative for District 99, also in Orleans Parish, and previously for a year in District 101.

In July 2020, Bishop was suspended from practicing law after he was sentenced for falsifying federal loan documents related to his rental property.[2]


Bishop received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1990 from the historically black Southern University at New Orleans. From the University of Mississippi at Oxford, he received in 1991 a Master of Public Administration degree. He obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1995 from the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 2009, he was a Harvard University fellow.[3][4]

Bishop formerly resided in the capital city of Baton Rouge, where the legislature meets, and in Ridgeland in Madison County in central Mississippi.[5]

Bishop maintained a legal practice in New Orleans, where he has been a faculty member and department head in his specialty, criminal justice, at his alma mater, Southern University in New Orleans. He has also been the Graduate School Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. A former SUNO academic, Joseph Bouie, Jr., is a colleague of Bishop's in the Louisiana House from District 97. Bishop is a past board member of the New Orleans International Airport.[4]

Political life

In 1999, Bishop ran unsuccessfully for the District 101 seat in the state House.[4] In 2011, he won a special election for District 101. The position was vacated by the resignation of African-American Democrat Cedric Richmond, since a U.S. Representative, who in 2010 unseated Moderate Republican Joseph Cao in Louisiana's 2nd congressional distric. He received 75 percent of the vote over two intra-party rivals, Roland Joseph Barthe (born September 1946) and Willie Jones.[6] He served in that position for a year. As a result of redistricting, Bishop was moved to the District 99 seat in the state House. In the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 22, 2011, he received 4,378 votes (81.6 percent); fellow Democrat Samuel Cowart (born February 1948) trailed with 989 votes (18.4 percent). The District 101 seat was taken by still another African-American Democrat, Edward Clark James, an attorney from New Orleans.[7]

Bishop is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus and the Democratic Caucus. In the house, he served on these committees: (1) Appropriations, (2) Education, (3) Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs, and (4) Joint Legislative Budget.[3][4]

Bishop's legislative ratings have ranged from 28 to 56 percent from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. In 2012. the National Federation of Independent Business rated Bishop 17 percent. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 63 and 25 percent, respectively. In 2013 and 2014, he was rated 50 and 75 percent, respectively, by Louisiana Right to Life. He was rated 100 percent in 2013 and 2014 by the Louisiana Association of Educators, which represents public school educators.[8]

In 2014, Bishop voted to require that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; only five House members opposed the measure. That same year, he voted to extend the time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted to forbid the transportation of dogs in open truck beds on interstate highways. He voted to repeal anti-sodomy laws, but the measure failed in the House.[9]

In 2013, Bishop voted to reduce penalties for the possession of marijuana. He did not vote on permanent concealed carry gun permits. He opposed keeping information on concealed carry permits confidential and out of the purview of the public record. He voted to increase judicial pay and to end the mandatory retirement age for judges. In 2012, he co-sponsored legislation to provide for parole eligibility for non-violent inmates. He voted to prohibit the use of telephones while driving. He supported state tax incentives to recruit a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana but opposed allowing taxpayers to deduct from their state income taxes funds given for scholarshi]s. He opposed reducing the number of hours that polling locations remain open. Louisiana has traditionally had 14-hour polling days. In 2011, Bishop voted for a permanent tax on cigarettes. He opposed the requirement for drug testing of welfare recipients. He voted for an unsuccessful bill to increase court costs in the New Orleans Traffic Court. He opposed the redistricting bill for the [state Senate though the measure passed, 71-28.[9]

In the primary election held on October 24, 2015, Bishop handily won the District 4 seat in the state Senate vacated by his fellow African-American Democrat, Edwin R. Murray. He polled 16,336 votes (64.8 percent) to 35.2 percent for his two intra-party opponents.[10] Bishop ran without opposition for his second Senate term on October 12, 2019.

In 2021, the Louisiana Supreme Court disbarred Bishop after his guilty plea in 2020 to having made false statements to the U.S. Department of Urban Development about rental property that he owned in New Orleans. A spokesman for the FBI in New Orleans said that the false statements resulted in Bishop receiving a forgivable $188,000 loan under the post-Hurricane Katrina “road home” program. Bishop admitted to lying to HUD by stating he was renting to non-existent tenants.[11]


  1. Wesley Bishop. Mylife.com. Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  2. Lee Zurik. Wesley Bishop's law license suspended following sentencing in federal case. Msn.com. Retrieved on September 14, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wesley T. Bishop. house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved on April 26, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Wesley Bishop's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  5. Wesley T. Bishop. intelius.com. Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  6. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, January 22, 2001.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 22, 2011.
  8. Wesley T. Bishop's Ratings and Endorsements. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wesley T. Bishop's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  10. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 24, 2015.
  11. Louisiana Supreme Court disbars ex-Senator Wesley Bishop. msn.com (January 20, 2021). Retrieved on January 21, 2021.