The district includes most of Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, as well as the entirety of the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island. The district encompasses wealthy enclaves such as the Hamptons, middle-class suburban towns such as Selden, Centereach and Lake Grove, working-class neighborhoods such as Mastic and Riverhead and rural farming communities such as Mattituck and Jamesport on the North Fork.
Early life, education and career
Bishop is a twelfth-generation resident of Southampton, New York, where he was born on June 1, 1950. He is the son of Catherine (Roesel) and Howard Cortland Bishop. He is the great-grandson of Benjamin H. Bishop, a mayor of Southampton, and has English, Irish, and German ancestry. He received a bachelor's degree in History from The College of the Holy Cross and a master's degree in Public Administration from Long Island University. Bishop served as Provost of Southampton College for 16 years, where he began working in 1973 as an admissions counselor.
In his nearly 29 years at LIU’s Southampton College, Bishop served in positions touching almost every aspect of college life, from institutional research and planning, financial aid, and enrollment services, to student activities, personnel, community relations, and fund raising. He served as director of financial aid, assistant director of admissions, registrar, director of institutional research and planning, dean for enrollment services, and dean for administrative and student services. In 1986, Bishop was appointed Provost of Southampton College. In this position, Bishop served as the chief executive officer in charge of the day-to-day management of the entire campus. Known as a strong and capable administrator, Congressman Bishop worked effectively with the college’s diverse constituencies including students, alumni, staff, faculty, University officers, board members, government officials and community residents.
During his tenure, several academic programs achieved national prominence. Southampton College of Long Island University produced 36 Fulbright Scholars, a remarkable achievement for a small college. As provost, Bishop developed the award-winning Cooperative Education and Freshman Programs, an integral part of the LIU Plan implemented across the University. Bishop negotiated the licensing agreement to power up the University’s flagship radio station WPBX-88.3 FM — the only Long Island-based NPR affiliate — to 25,000 Watts. During his tenure, four new graduate programs were added to the curriculum, and a new academic center, Chancellors Hall, was built.
Along with the Southampton College Chancellor, Robert F.X. Sillerman, Bishop developed the most successful single fund-raising event in the college's history, the All for the Sea rock concerts which grossed as much as $1 million annually.
Bishop also voted for the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (TARP), and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the “stimulus bill”), and for further measures in 2009 and 2010. He also voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which provided for further gradual increments in the debt limit.
Bishop participated in the bipartisan coalition of elected officials and community advocates that saved the 106th Air Rescue Wing located at Gabreski Airport from being shut down by the Pentagon’s base closure commission.
In opposition to a plan that would have dumped more than twenty million cubic yards of contaminated dredge waste in the Long Island Sound, Bishop sponsored legislation to block the plan. In January 2007, he voted for a reduction of interest rates on future federal student loans.
Bishop supported the Shinnecock Indian tribe's successful attempts at gaining formal federal recognition. Bishop supported a $160,000 line-item for the Shinnecock Nation in President Obama's 2013 budget proposal.
- Committee on Education and the Workforce
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- National Archives Caucus, Co-Chair
- Democratic Budget Group, Co-Chair
- Coalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE)
- Community College Caucus
- Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Congressional Caucus on Addiction, Treatment and Recovery
- Congressional Civility Caucus
- Congressional Humanities Caucus
- Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus
- Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus
- Congressional Military Family Caucus
- Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
- Congressional Sri Lanka Caucus
- Congressional Wine Caucus
- House Cancer Caucus
- House Democratic Caucus
- House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
- House National Service Caucus
- Sudan Caucus
- Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition
- United Services Organization (USO) Congressional Caucus
In September 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics recommended further review of an August 2012 incident in which Bishop was accused of soliciting a campaign contribution from hedge fund magnate Eric Semler in exchange for acting in an official capacity to obtain a fireworks permit for Semler's son's bar mitzvah on Long Island. Bishop has denied the allegations as "outrageous, unfounded attacks on my character and my family". After the incident was picked up by the media, Semler called the allegations a "nonstory".
In his first political race, Bishop ran as a Democrat against Republican Incumbent Felix J. Grucci, Jr. During the campaign, Grucci ran radio ads accusing Bishop of falsifying rape statistics at Southampton College, but his claims were based on articles from a college newspaper that contained numerous inaccuracies. Grucci refused to repudiate the ads, and was defeated by Bishop.
Incumbent Bishop beat Republican candidate William M. Manger, Jr. 56.2%-43.8%
Incumbent Bishop beat Republican candidate Italo Zanzi 62.2%-37.8%
Bishop again defeated Republican Randy Altschuler by a 52.2%-47.8% margin. Although Bishop has received the Independence Party endorsement in most of his elections, in 2012 the endorsement went instead to his opponent.
Bishop ran unopposed for the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Party nominations. He was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program, a program designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election. He faced Republican nominee Lee Zeldin in the general election. On November 4, 2014, Bishop lost his re-election bid to Zeldin 55% to 45%.
Post Congressional career
Since leaving the Congress, Bishop has joined St. Joseph’s College as a Distinguished Professor of Civic Engagement and Public Service. Among Bishop's many responsibilities at the College he will be afforded the opportunity to continue his lifelong work of providing access to Higher Education to traditional underserved populations.
Bishop is a Senior Advisor to a Washington DC based Government Relations Firm.
Bishop has accepted positions on the Board of Directors of Social Accountability International  and The Sergeant Sullivan Center. Both commitments allow Bishop to continue on two of his top priorties in the Congress; working to ensure workplace protections and service to our Veterans, particularly in the area of post deployment health.
Bishop is married to Kathryn, founder and director of The Children's School Early Childhood program at Southampton College, and has two daughters, Molly and Meghan.