State Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, will face challenger Leslie Bourque, a Democrat, in the race for District 43 in the state House of Representatives. 

Bishop is seeking his third term in office after first being elected in 2011, while Bourque is a community leader and activist. Both are vying for the seat that will represent the areas of Broussard, Youngsville and southern Lafayette in the House. 

Both candidates agree that one of the main issues they intended to focus on is drainage in the area.

“The fact that drainage has not been addressed since 2016 is incredibly worrisome,” Bourque said.

Bourque is a Lafayette native who is partnering with women to bring awareness to a range of issues such as domestic violence, criminal justice reform and homelessness. She also wants to focus on flood protection, local business development and government transparency.

“We need transparency in the government,” Bourque said. “We deserve to know exactly why our taxes are not being spent wisely.”

Bishop, who chairs the House natural resources and environment committee, wants to focus on is the drainage “so neighborhoods don’t flood.”

“I want to finish what I promised the citizens of District 43 — to make a better Louisiana,” Bishop said.

Bishop has served on multiple committees while in office. Some of these committees include the Commerce Committee, the House and Government Affairs Committee and the Appropriations Committee.

Bourque said her experience in the community led her to run for office because she thought she could do more. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate was chosen to be a Woman of Excellence by the Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women in 2017. 

“I am a people person and I feel the first step to transparency in government is engaging with your constituents,” Bourque said. “Not just when you are campaigning but throughout your entire term. I know I will never have all the solutions, but I have a toolbox full of resources I will draw upon.”

Bishop has helped secure the funding for the Youngsville Sports Complex and the Lafayette Airport and noted he has been “working really hard for the completion of the I-49 extension.”

Bishop is from the Jeanerette area before moving to Lafayette after graduating from LSU in 1997. He is also involved in his family’s business, Baldwin Redi-Mix Concrete. 

Bishop made headlines last year when he and Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, got into a fist fight in a Baton Rouge bar just after midnight. Both described they "had a gentleman's disagreement and settled it with our hands" at the River Room, a posh cocktail lounge. 

Bishop later apologized. 

Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.