Lawmakers get in to fist fight in Baton Rouge bar

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BATON ROUGE (USA Today) — State Rep. Stuart Bishop and state Sen. Norby Chabert got into a fist fight at a downtown Baton Rouge bar Tuesday night in a dispute over legislation.

Bishop, R-Lafayette, said Chabert, R-Houma, “punched me several times” during the altercation.

“We had a gentleman’s disagreement and settled it with our hands,” Bishop said.

Police were called, but Bishop said he and Chabert had already left the bar and no arrests were made.

The incident happened at the River Room on Laurel Street.

“He’s not happy with me over a bill,” said Bishop, who blocked a bill from Chabert as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Chabert is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

The argument began on the House floor earlier in the day before spilling outside of the Capitol later that night.

“I love Stuart like a brother, and sometimes brothers fight,” Chabert said. “We are both passionate people and sometimes that gets the best of us.

“Obviously, I regret the incident.”

Bishop said he didn’t return Chabert’s blows and wasn’t injured.

“I’m a little bruised, but not injured,” Bishop said.

Bishop said the two lawmakers are longtime friends with many similar legislative priorities.

“I’m sorry it happened,” Bishop said. “We’ve been friends for a long time.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s settled, but you’d have to talk to (Chabert),” he said.

Bishop later addressed the fight on the House floor.

“The integrity of this body is one thing I cherish and hold dear,” he told members. “If I embarrassed any of your I truly apologize.”

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