|Baton Rouge, LA — District Attorney John Belton spoke to the Press Club of Baton Rouge Monday. His remarks focused on delivering justice and preventing crime amidst an uptick of violent and non-violent crime throughout Louisiana’s communities. Belton, a “no party,” Black candidate for Attorney General described himself as someone used to accomplishing historic firsts. Belton is the first black district attorney in North Louisiana’s 3rd JDC, his wife was the first Black city prosecutor, his mother-in-law was the first Black female City Council woman, and his father participated in many historic firsts as a notable civil rights leader.
“We need someone focused on public safety, with a track record of delivering it. I’m that candidate,” said Belton. As a proven prosecutor Belton has served as an assistant district attorney and District Attorney in Louisiana’s Third Judicial District for his entire career. Belton is a pro-life, pro-gun candidate. Belton said that although Louisiana’s Constitution sets out clear obligations and duties of the Attorney General, he wants to make a “bigger difference.” Belton said he would organize an arm of the AG’s office to focus on data-driven youth crime prevention, like improving Louisiana’s graduation rate.
Belton described his path to victory in the 2023 race for Attorney General as “clear and convincing” saying, “I’ve spent my life overcoming the odds. So, a lot of people in this state can relate to my story. We’ve all been told we couldn’t do something. I’ve tried to be the kind of lawyer and Christian who was there for those who had the deck stacked against them. That is what we’ll present to the people of this state and that is why we’ll win.”
Belton was born with Blount’s disease, a condition which prompted doctors to tell his parents he may never walk normally, or learn to run. Belton later became an All State high school football player and Louisiana’s Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Year in 1982 before going on to play football at McNeese University.
Belton also talked about the current status of his office’s work in the Ronald Greene matter. Originally, federal authorities asked him to delay prosecution while they completed an investigation but have now agreed he should move forward. “On my way here today I got a text message from the FBI agent in charge saying that he would like to meet with me next week to turn over files. I have always said that I would move swiftly once I had all relevant files. And I’m ready to do so,” said Belton. Belton noted that there is some info he can only get through a court order, and that as soon as he has all relevant investigative files he will work quickly in the interests of justice for the Greene family.
The election for Attorney General is in 2023.