John Belton

John Belton, District Attorney for Lincoln and Union parishes

Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry hasn’t announced whether he’s running for governor in 2023 – he downplays the idea whenever publicly asked.

But so loud are the whispers that at least one candidate is ready to fill Landry’s job.

John Belton, a prosecutor from north Louisiana, said in a press release that he told a Louisiana District Attorneys Association meeting on Monday: “I am acting on the advice and encouragement from District Attorneys as well as other law enforcement officials across our state to run for the Louisiana Attorney General position. I am running for the open position that will be created when Jeff Landry runs for Governor.”

Belton grew up in Evangeline Parish, played college football at McNeese State University in Lake Charles and received his law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. He moved in 1992 to become assistant district attorney in the Third Judicial District, which covers Lincoln and Union parishes, where the parish seats are Ruston and Farmerville.

Running without party affiliation, Belton was elected by 211 votes out of 21,205 ballots cast, 52.4% turnout in the two parish Third Judicial District. He was reelected without opposition in 2020.

He is the past president of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association and is Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association.