Narcisse bid for governor comes to Spirit Lake

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
(Photo by Russ Mitchell)

A former Polk County Democratic Party co-chair, talk radio host and Des Moines School Board member recently brought his third-party campaign for governor to Spirit Lake.

With just over two months left before the election, Jonathan Narcisse sees an opportunity to move into the governor's home on Terrace Hill.

Incumbent Gov. Terry Branstad is the Republican nominee. He is being challenged by Democratic state Sen. Jack Hatch.

"We're really not as far away as people think," Narcisse said of his prospects. "For us, it's a bank shot. If Senator Hatch appears viable, Governor Branstad remains the governor of Iowa because any kind of close race, Branstad wins. Now, if Governor Branstad -- and I don't think he'd ever do this -- decided to cover himself in red paint and howl at the moon naked, Jack Hatch is the next governor of Iowa. But it is going to take something extreme like that for Hatch to beat him. But, if Governor Branstad continues to distance himself from Hatch -- so that Hatch doesn't appear viable -- then that changes the dynamics. If Democrats say 'it doesn't matter whether I vote for Jack Hatch, he has no chance to win, so I might as well vote for that other fella' and if Republicans say 'it doesn't matter if I vote for Branstad or not, because it's not like Jack can win, I'll vote for that other candidate.' Then we actually have a shot."

Fundraising also factors into Narcisse's scenario.

"$250,000 would toss a coin, a half-million dollars and we would create enough awareness and would be able to fund enough of an organizational push that we turn Governor Branstad's bid for a sixth term into Eric Cantor.

Cantor is a former House Majority Leader from Virginia. He was stunned on primary election night by Dave Brat, an underfunded challenger.

"Now a half-a-million dollars is a lot of money," Narcisse said. "But that would be adequate for us to pretty-much assure that we have what we needed to be able to beat him. If he (Branstad) spends $5 million, or $10 million or $20 million, there may be three people who don't know about him and learn about him. Where his money is so devastating is when he drops it on his opponent's head in negative advertising. So, that makes it really difficult for Senator Hatch."

There's no such thing as negative press when an entrenched candidate attacks a lesser-known third party candidate, Narcisse said.

"Governor Branstad's money advantage isn't a problem for us," he said. "It's a problem for Senator Hatch."

If elected, Narcisse said he would require Iowans to serve as volunteers and present identification before they could receive state assistance. The candidate also calls for corporate income tax and property tax code reforms.

He also called on the state to opt out of No Child Left Behind and Common Core initiatives. He would support forensic audits of state and local governments early on in his administration.


Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is reminding Iowa voters that early voting for the Nov. 4, 2014, general election starts on Thursday, Sept. 25.

"I hope all eligible Iowans take full advantage of their right to vote by registering to vote and casting a ballot either early in-person, by mail or at the polls on Election Day," Schultz said. "Every vote counts and it's important that Iowans participate to make sure their voices are heard."

To vote in Iowa, eligible voters can Cast a ballot early by filling out an absentee ballot in-person at their county auditor's office or at possible satellite locations as designated by the county auditor starting Thursday, Sept. 25 through Monday, Nov. 3.

They can also request and absentee ballot by mail or vote at their designated precinct polling place on Election Day.

Voter registration can be done at or by visiting the county auditor's office of residence.

Absentee ballots received by the county auditor before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4 are eligible for counting. Absentee ballots that are returned by mail and received after the polls close must have a postmark of Monday, Nov. 3 or earlier to be considered for counting.

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