Narcisse confirms plans to run for governor

Jonathan Narcisse will file to run for governor as an independent, he confirmed yesterday during campaign stops around the state. Narcisse had supported Terry Branstad during the 1980s and Chet Culver’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, but now believes neither Branstad nor Culver is “offering solutions.” Earlier this year, Narcisse declared that he would challenge Culver in the Democratic primary, but he did not submit signature petitions before the filing deadline. The hurdle for running as an independent is much lower; candidates need to collect only 1,500 signatures and file nominating papers by August 13.

Narcisse has chosen Rick Marlar as his running mate. Marlar finished third with 12 percent in the Republican primary for Iowa Senate district 45. Rod Boshart reported that Narcisse picked Marlar

because they share the same fervor for reform. Marlar, a truck driver for 30 years and former pilot who logged four years in the submarine service, lives on 40 acres near Wayland and understands rural and farm life, he said. Narcisse said Marlar reminded him of another truck driver in Iowa who was successful in gubernatorial politics, Ida Grove native Harold Hughes, who was elected governor and served in the U.S. Senate during his political career.

If Marlar wants to stand up to the Republican establishment, he’d be better off running as an independent in Senate district 45, where Branstad’s close ally Sandy Greiner won the primary easily with 66 percent of the vote.

Narcisse believes he has a shot if he can get into this fall’s debates between the gubernatorial candidates. His campaign strategy:

“Culver and Branstad are going to wage an unprecedented negative campaign. They’re going to just pound each other to a bloody pulp,” Narcisse predicted. “I believe that by the time they get through hammering each other, on Nov. 2, if Iowans could vote for none of the above that none of the above would beat Branstad and Culver. So my job now is to become ‘None Of The Above Narcisse.’”

I don’t ever remember third-party candidates being invited to the Iowa gubernatorial debates. If the media include Narcisse, they would have to include others such as Libertarian Eric Cooper and Constitution Party candidate Rick Phillips. Narcisse will need to raise much more money to run the 99-county campaign he is planning. His May campaign disclosure report filed showed $3,360 in cash contributions, a $5,135 loan, and $2,945 cash on hand.

  • I agree with you about Marlar

    He must realize that his candidacy there would likely aide Democrats in SD 45. while the Narcisse candidacy may draw the most support from Democratic districts and take votes away from Culver is some of the presumed Democratic base.  

    Narcisse is realistic and knows he will not win.  He just wants the platform.  

    • Not realistic

      I disagree about how realistic Narcisse is about using this as a platform.  If he’s trying to accomplish something worthwhile, why is he making comments about becoming “None of the Above Narcisse” and not relying on that platform.  If he wants people to cast a protest vote, why not make it clear what that protest demands?

      Independent or third-party candidates who run only to provide a protest option trivialize the process, and make it more difficult for qualified independents to run in the future.

      • Valid points

        Mr. Narcisse already made it clear to me personally on this that I was attacking with him with a partisan attitude.  He tends to go after employers that are important to Southeastern Iowa (gaming, prisons and larger “corporate” employers).  Although he may have some valid points and ideally we would not be dependent on such large employers; we have to take what we can get in a global economy.

        He would probably be critical of the tax credits and economic development dollars that have been for companies like Siemens in my area and the kind of dollars that may need to be spent in order to get the Amjet project off the ground.

        This is why I don’t believe in purely free markets for anyone.  It does not matter whether it is small, medium or big business.  Narcisse represents the same kind of economic thought that I have heard in certain circles and it scares me.  

        • Necessary evils, perhaps

          I’m definitely not fund of tax credits that get thrown around so regularly that some companies will play states against each other and suck more money out of the economy and tax base than they put back in.  However, it’s not easy for an individual state to turn the tide, nor someone with the diplomatic skills, or lack thereof, of Narcisse.

          What I’m critical of is not the presence of industries like gaming and prisons, but the pure elation that some leaders in the past have shown.  It’s not enough to say “the economy sucks, so everybody play craps!”  It’s incredibly short sighted to treat these industries as a cure all, especially when they can have deep related costs for the state.  But at the same time, pulling the plug on Prairie Meadows would drain a great deal of money out of Polk County.

  • None Of The Above Narcisse?

    How incredibly cynical.  He could at least pretend he’s running because he believes he’s the best candidate.  

    It’s fine if he makes a strategic calculation to step out of the crossfire and play it positive.  But it sounds like his strategy is to slide in while no one is paying attention.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.