Louisiana state lawmakers apologize after fist-fighting


An argument between two Republican Louisiana state lawmakers turned physical Tuesday night, with the men exchanging blows at a Baton Rouge bar. 

State Rep. Stuart Bishop and state Sen. Norby Chabert became involved in a dispute on the House floor and duked it out later that evening, USA Today reported.

Bishop said that Chabert “punched me several times” but Bishop didn’t punch him back.

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

Chabert told USA Today he “loved Stuart like a brother” and regretted the fight.

Local law enforcement was called to the bar but both Bishop and Chabert had reportedly left by the time they arrived. Neither was arrested. 

Bishop had earlier blocked a bill from Chabert as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, though it was not immediately clear what the legislation was concerning.

Chabert told The Advocate the dispute came from ongoing arguments on coastal issues, not a single bill.


Bishop apologized for his actions on the House floor the following morning. 

“I truly apologize for doing anything that upset y’all or made y’all look bad,” Bishop said. 

“The next time it will just be dueling guns,” he added jokingly.

Chabert followed suit on the Senate floor, The Advocate reported

“It’s something you never want to have to live with. But when you do it, you have to own it,” he said. “We’re still friends, we’re always going to be friends and we’re going to continue to do our best for our constituents and this state.”

Bishop’s colleagues poked fun at his involvement in the dust-up, decorating his desk with police tape. State Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R), removed the yellow tape when reporters arrived at the office to document the faux crime scene.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) described the fight as unfortunate on his weekly radio show, adding that “it doesn’t necessarily reflect well” on state government, the local outlet reported.

“I know those two individuals. They are going to continue to work together,” Edwards said.

Tags Baton Rouge John Bel Edwards Louisiana The Advocate USA Today
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