Bishop frequently absent from senate while campaigning for NC-9 seat

Updated: May. 30, 2019 at 5:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - State Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) has missed a majority of votes on bills, motions and amendments during the 2019 session, records show, as he campaigns for a seat in Congress.

Bishop handily won a crowded Republican primary earlier this month and will face off against Democrat Dan McCready in September’s general election. The congressional seat has sat empty since the 2018 election results were thrown out by the North Carolina State Board of Elections amidst allegations of election fraud.

A review of Senate voting records show Bishop’s attendance at the legislature has suffered as he’s pressed for votes in the 9th District, which stretches from eastern Mecklenburg County along the North Carolina/South Carolina board to Bladen County.

Records pulled by WBTV on Tuesday, May 28 showed Bishop had missed votes on 21 out of 46 days on which Senate votes were held.

Related: Dan Bishop wins primary, will represent Republican Party in NC-9 special election

Total, Bishop had missed 126 of 246 total votes on bills, motions and amendments brought on the Senate floor in 2019. That figure does not include votes in committees to which Bishop is assigned.

When asked about the business he was missing at the legislature while campaigning for the NC-9 seat at a press conference held the day after his primary win, Bishop dismissed the notion his absenteeism was detrimental to his ability to represent his constituents.

“You can do two things at once,” Bishop said. “My responsibilities are well taken care of at the General Assembly. We’ve moved through the legislation that I sponsored.”

But Bishop wouldn’t directly answer a follow-up question from a WBTV reporter asking specifically whether his constituents in his legislative district should feel like they have a full-time senator in this year’s session.

“They need to have an effective legislator and that’s what I’ve been: a legislator who always says what he believes, who always makes clear to the voters where he stands and who gets his job done,” Bishop replied.

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