Belton suspends race for state Attorney General

By T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT, Lincoln Parish Journal

Third Judicial District Attorney John Belton announced Thursday that he suspended his campaign for Louisiana attorney general, saying that another opportunity that he cannot discuss at this time is the reason behind his making that decision.

Belton admitted the move might seem sudden but that it is one he feels good about.

“Leading in the polls has accelerated the number of fundraising events being planned in the next few weeks,” Belton said. “However, though I am not at liberty to discuss, an opportunity has presented another possibility for me to be of service to my state. While I will continue to serve as the District Attorney of the Third Judicial District, I will suspend my campaign for Attorney General.

“I’m excited about what the future holds for me and my family.”

The four candidates in the race to replace current Louisiana District Attorney Jeff Landry, who is running for governor, included Belton, Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill, Louisiana District 2 state Rep. John Stefanski of Crowley and 18th Judicial District Marty Maley before Belton’s decision to suspend his race.

“For some time now, I have campaigned to be Louisiana’s next Attorney General and have enjoyed traveling around our beautiful state sharing my personal story of faith in God, hard work, and overcoming,” Belton said.

And Belton, who has also been in the spotlight recently while pursuing criminal charges against the five white police officers involved in the May 2019 death of Ronald Greene, a Black motorist, after a vehicle pursuit across parts of Union and Ouachita parishes, said he felt he was the frontrunner in the race before circumstances changed and caused him to reconsider continuing his campaign.

“The response has been nothing short of amazing and our campaign has been blessed to have the support of so many hard-working citizens, fellow public servants, business, community, and religious leaders across Louisiana. And I am forever thankful for that support.

“In fact, in the recent polls, I am the leading candidate for Attorney General.”

But Belton said the “new opportunity” was one that forced him to reconsider.

“Right now, it’s at a point where I really can’t discuss it, but that will come at the right time,” Belton said. “But at this point I feel the best thing to do is to suspend my candidacy and see how it all plays out.

“It’s something I’m excited and feel good about. At this point, that’s all I can say.”