NATCHITOCHES—In lieu of riding off into the sunset after retiring from the district attorney’s office, Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Van Kyzar is running to fill the vacant seat on the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal.
Van Kyzar | Courtesy Van Kyzar
“I believe very strongly my experience as a private practice lawyer for over 20 years, district attorney for 20 years and 12 years as assistant district attorney provides me with the basis of knowledge and experience that will best serve the people,” Kyzar told the Louisiana Record. “It’s a natural fit for me."
The Third Circuit Court of Appeal hears all criminal and civil court case appeals for a 21-parish area, including the central and southwestern parishes of Louisiana. The open seat on the court will be filled from the sub districts including Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides and Sabine parishes.
“I understand I have been given a great honor in the 10th Judicial District by serving as DA for the past 20 years,” Kyzar said. “I assumed that role with the understanding the great power of the DA’s office comes with great responsibility. I’ve always strived to handle this position with honor and integrity, and I pledge to the people in my district and state to do the same on the Third Circuit.”
Currently Kyzar is running unopposed, but he expects that to change before the election this November. Regardless of who else may enter the race, Kyzar knows he has locked down the support of at least a few Louisianans: his wife Theresa, a nursing professor at Northwestern State University; their five sons who range in age from 33 to 22; and three grandchildren.
“Theresa and I both believe in service to our professions,” Kyzar said in reference to his family supporting his run. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the legal profession and justice system in a different, but most important, way.”
Kyzar called it a “blessing” the election falls on the same day as the presidential election and shared he plans to utilize the excitement for the presidential race to share his message with people throughout the district.
“Our judicial branch is extremely important,” Kyzar said. “Appellate and supreme court judges are vital to the proper functioning of the judicial system.”
Though the role judges play in the functioning of our democracy may be foreign to many, Kyzar said it is the job of candidates like himself to help them understand the importance of judicial positions and the importance of a proper functioning judiciary system.
Kyzar said he worked hard to perform his duties as DA and handle his job with great respect and, if elected, will bring that same ethic to the Third Circuit.
“The office of the DA didn’t define who I am as a person, but my personal actions can define the role I’m serving for the people," he said.