Dan Bishop

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Dan Bishop
Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th district
Taking office
Succeeding Robert Pittenger
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 39th district
Assumed office
January 2017
Preceded by Bob Rucho
Succeeded by TBD
Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives
from the 104th district
In office
January 2015 – January 2017
Preceded by Ruth Samuelson
Succeeded by Andy Dulin
Member of the Mecklenburg County Commission
from the 5th district
In office
January 2005 – January 2009
Preceded by Ruth Samuelson[1]
Succeeded by Neil Cooksey[2]
Personal details
Born James Daniel Bishop
(1964-07-01) July 1, 1964 (age 55)
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jo Bishop
Children 1
Education University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (BS, JD)

James Daniel Bishop (born July 1, 1964)[3][4] is an American attorney and politician serving in the North Carolina State Senate since 2017. A Republican, his district is located in south-central Mecklenburg County. He previously served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 2015 to 2017, and the Mecklenburg County Commission from 2005 to 2009.

Bishop is a strong opponent of LGBT rights.[5] He was the lead writer of North Carolina's so-called "bathroom bill" which prohibited transgender individuals from using public restrooms other than those by their biological sex as defined on their birth certificates.[6] The bill was signed into law. It stirred a substantial public backlash, and analysts estimated it cost the state of North Carolina $3.7 billion. It was subsequently overruled by a federal judge in Asheville in a ruling affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

Bishop won the 2019 special election to the U.S. House of Representatives with 50.8% of the vote to Dan McCready's 48.6% on September 10, 2019.[7][8]


Bishop received a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1986 and a J.D. in 1990 from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1990.[9]

Political career

Bishop has attracted attention for statements attacking journalists, which have been likened to statements by Donald Trump's.[10] On one occasion, Bishop criticized the Raleigh press corps over coverage of the state budget, calling reporters the "jihad media."[11]

County Commission and state House

Bishop was a member of the Mecklenburg County Commission from 2004 to 2008. After a six-year absence from politics, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives from a south Charlotte seat for a single term (2015-2017), running against a Libertarian opponent, Eric Cable, but without a Democratic one.[12] Bishop's district was House District 104.[9] He succeeded Ruth Samuelson, who retired from the House.[12]

State Senate

Bishop won his current North Carolina State Senate District 39 seat in November 2016 to succeed Bob Rucho who was not seeking re-election. He received 58,739 votes (52.81%), defeating Democrat Lloyd Scher, who received 44,655 (47.19%).[13]

During the 2017-2018 legislative session, Bishop was the co-chairman of the Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting, the vice-chairman of the Select Committee on Elections, and a member of several additional committees.[14]

In the state Senate, Bishop was one of the primary sponsors of legislation in 2017 that would prevent persons living near North Carolina factory farms from recovering meaningful damages in civil actions against agribusinesses found responsible for harming them. This legislation was supported by big industry lobbyists and opposed by consumer protection agencies and environmental groups, such as the League of Conservation Voters.[15]

LGBT issues

Bishop was the architect of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, or House Bill 2.[16][17][6] This controversial "bathroom bill" legislation restricted transgender individuals from using gender-segregated public facilities, other than those identified for use by their biological sex as defined on their birth certificates.[16] The bill, signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory, also invalidated a local nondiscrimination law passed by the Charlotte City Council and prohibited any local government in North Carolina from enacting new protections for gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals.[17] Bishop used his sponsorship of HB2 in fundraising emails, stating that he stood up to the "radical transgender agenda."[16] Bishop's role in promoting HB 2 raised the profile of the freshman state senator.[16] In 2017, after a public backlash against the legislation and economic harms of $3.7 billion, HB 2 was repealed and replaced with new compromise legislation brokered between Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and the Republican leadership of the state legislature.[6] Bishop was the sole senator to make a floor speech against HB 2's revocation, calling it a "betrayal of principle."[18] In emails from Bishop subsequently made public under North Carolina's public-records law, Bishop compared LGBT rights activists to the Taliban.[19]

Following release of video showing HB 2 protesters shouting "shame" at former Governor McCrory during protests in Washington D.C., Bishop stated that he supported legislation that would criminalize such political behavior. Critics have called the proposed action antithetical to First Amendment principles.[20]

Gab controversy

In August 2017, Bishop contributed $500 toward the establishment of the social network Gab.ai, a website best known for its white supremacist userbase.[21] Antisemitism is a prominent part of the site's content[22] and the platform itself has engaged in antisemitic commentary.[23]

At the time, Bishop made a Twitter post saying that he decided to make the contribution in response to what he called a California "tech giants' Big Brother routine." In that he referred to a newspaper account regarding companies such as PayPal and Facebook canceling accounts used by organizers and funders of the Unite the Right rally, in Charlottesville, Virginia.[24][10] Bishop's crowdfunding contribution attracted attention the following year, after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that murdered 11 people and wounded three policemen and another congregant, committed by man who was a Gab user.[25][21]

After Bishop's contribution attracted scrutiny, Bishop complained that he was being "smeared" and stated in a Twitter post, "I don't use Gab, but if its management allows its users to promote violence, anti-Semitism, and racism on the platform they have misled investors and they will be gone quickly, and rightfully so.”[21] The Charlotte Observer, responding to Bishop's defense in an editorial, noted that to accept Bishop's statement, "you also would need to believe he wasn't aware in 2017 of Gab's links to hate groups — despite common knowledge and the article he cited — and that he did he not investigate or even explore the site before giving it $500 of his money."[10] Also in August 2017, Bishop tweeted with the hashtag #Charlottesville that the "Racist, alt-right must be condemned" conflating that with the Black Lives Matter movement. When asked, "Are you equating 'Black Lives Matter' with those who wave Nazi flags?" Bishop responded, "Yes. Both violent, racist movements."[26]

Electoral history

On March 14, 2019, Bishop announced he would run for the U.S. House of Representatives, he entered the 9th congressional district special election.[27] He won the Republican Party primary on May 14, 2019, with 37% of the vote.[28][29]

Date Position Status Opponent Result Vote share Top-opponent vote share
2004 Mecklenburg County Commissioner Open-seat Ran unopposed Elected 100.00%[1] 0%
2006 Mecklenburg County Commissioner Incumbent Ran unopposed Re-elected 100.00%[2] 0%
2014 State Representative Open-seat Eric A. Cable (L) Elected 74.78%[30] 25.22%
2016 State Senator Open-seat Lloyd Scher (D) Elected 56.81%[31] 43.19%
2018 State Senator Incumbent Chad Stachowicz (D) Re-elected 52.89%[32] 47.11%
2019 United States House of Representatives Open-seat Dan McCready (D) TBD TBD TBD


  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=291873
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=450485
  3. "2006-2008 Board of County Commissioners" (PDF). Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. Retrieved February 21, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory - Google Books". Books.google.ca. Retrieved February 21, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Staff (September 6, 2019). "NC-09: Republicans Risk Special Election Loss in Critical 2020 State". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019. In May, Republican voters chose Bishop, an attorney best known for sponsoring North Carolina's so-called "bathroom bill," as their new nominee. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kilgore, Ed (2019-05-13). "Bathroom Bill Author Most Likely GOP Nominee in North Carolina Special Election". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2019-05-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Live results: North Carolina elections, Politico, September 10, 2019.
  8. Republican Dan Bishop wins special election for House seat in North Carolina special election, NBC News projects, NBC News, September 10, 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 NC Senate District 39: Dan Bishop faces Lloyd Scher, Charlotte Observer (October 18, 2016).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Billy Corriher, Meet the N.C. legislator who invested in the alt-right's social media platform, Facing South, Institute for Southern Studies (November 2, 2018).
  11. Colin Campbell, NC senator blasts 'jihad media' on Twitter in response to budget article, News & Observer (June 22, 2017).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fred Clasen-Kelly, NC House District 104: Former county commissioner re-emerges as leader for state House seat, Charlotte Observer (November 4, 2014).
  13. "11/08/2016 General Election Results". Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina State Board of Elections. 8 November 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Senator Dan Bishop (Rep): Committee Assignments, 2017-2018 Session, North Catolina General Assembly.
  15. Sue Sturgis, NC lawmakers want to shield factory farms from big damage payments to victims, Facing South, Institute for Southern Studies (April 7, 2017).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Colin Campbell, Rep. Dan Bishop: Leader of House Bill 2, Charlotte Observer (April 23, 2016).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Steve Harrison, N.C. Gov Pat McCrory signs into law bill restricting LGBT protections, Charlotte Observer (March 23, 2016).
  18. Colin Campbell, Craig Jarvis & Lynn Bonner, NC Senate, House approve HB2 repeal compromise, News & Observer (March 30, 2017).
  19. Erik Spanberg, EXCLUSIVE: Inside HB 2 author's legislative emails on LGBT issues, Charlotte Business Journal (June 9, 2016).
  20. Abbie Bennett, Does Pat McCrory need protection? One NC senator thinks so, News & Observer (January 23, 2017).
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Jim Morrill, NC lawmaker says he's being 'smeared' for investment in site tied to white supremacists, Charlotte Observer (October 31, 2018).
  22. Kraus, Rachel. "Gab came back online, and immediately filled up with anti-semitism". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-09-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Timberg, Craig; Harwell, Drew; Elizabeth, Dwoskin; Brown, Emma (October 31, 2018). "From Silicon Valley elite to social media hate: The radicalization that led to Gab". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018. Retrieved January 2, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Stolberg, Sheryl; Rosenthal, Brian M. (August 12, 2017). "Man Charged After White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville Ends in Deadly Violence". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 12, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Andone, Dakin; Hanna, Jason; Sterling, Joe; Murphy, Paul P. (October 28, 2018). "Hate crime charges filed in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 dead". CNN. Archived from the original on October 28, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. ‘Violent, racist movements’: Dan Bishop likens Black Lives Matter, white supremacists, Charlotte Observer, Abbie Bennett, August 14, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  27. "Sponsor of N Carolina anti-LGBT bill to run for US House". WRAL. Associated Press. March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Republican voters nominate N.C. state lawmaker who sponsored controversial ‘bathroom bill’ in 9th Congressional District race Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez and Amy Gardner, May 14, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  29. North Carolina 9th District special election results, Washington Post, May 14, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  30. https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=797182
  31. https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=812614
  32. https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=847030

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ruth Samuelson
Member of the Mecklenburg County Commission
from the 5th district

Succeeded by
Neil Cooksey
North Carolina House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ruth Samuelson
Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives
from the 104th district

Succeeded by
Andy Dulin
North Carolina Senate
Preceded by
Bob Rucho
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 39th district

Succeeded by
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Pittenger
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district

Taking office 2019