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Narcisse Cries Wolf – Fails to Get on the Democratic Primary Ballot

jonathan2Nineteen days ago, former Des Moines School Board member Jonathan Narcisse announced that he would challenge Governor Chet Culver in the Democratic primary this June. Following his announcement, Narcisse received weeks of favorable news coverage from traditional media outlets. Despite all of the attention, he was unable collect the necessary signatures to place his name on the ballot in the June primary, meaning Governor Culver no longer has a primary opponent.

Narcisse’s told Des Moines Register columnists Kathie Obradovich that he had the necessary signatures, but chose not to submit them after traveling the state and hearing from Iowans that they want an independent option on the ballot. Narcisse’s statement to Obradovich is interesting when you consider that he was collecting signatures at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators’ (NICHE) forum in Des Moines just three days ago.

Narcisse was interviewed at the NICHE conference by Dave Davidson, a blogger for, who was at the conference. In the interview, Narcisse said, “There needs to be those of us in the Democratic Party that have real Iowa values and are not afraid to stand up and be heard.” He went on to say that politics in the state would change if he were able to get on the primary ballot. He then asked for people to collect signatures to help get him on the ballot.

The inability for Narcisse to get on the Democratic primary ballot is a deadly blow to any credibility he may have had as a candidate. His tumultuous term on the Des Moines School board already raised questions about whether or not Narcisse had the temperament to serve as the chief executive of the state, but his three-week campaign as a Democrat makes him look foolish.

Narcisse’s flip-flop on running as a Democrat also raises questions about his ability to lead the state of Iowa. Just three days ago, he was a proud Democrat who was willing to primary an incumbent Governor. Now, he is telling a completely different story and claiming his decision was influenced by Iowans who want an independent choice this fall. Is that leadership?

As governor, would Narcisse be able to chart a course for the state and stick with it, or would the people of Iowa be subject to wild changes in positions on issues and policy matters? The platform that Narcisse is running on is very conservative and includes a number of things that can be found in the Republican Party of Iowa platform for the past decade. One has to wonder if these are his core beliefs, or positions based on convenience. It’s hard to believe that someone with such a conservative platform voted for Chet Culver in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2008.

Some of the notoriety that Narcisse has built over the years has come from his numerous appearances on WHO Radio. He is a frequent guest on Steve Deace’s afternoon radio program. Deace has stated that he believed that Narcisse was well known across the state and had a natural constituency group with African Americans. It now appears that either Narcisse wasn’t well known enough or couldn’t organize an effort to collect enough signatures to get his name on the ballot.

By failing in his attempt to challenge Culver in the primary, Narcisse has also severely wounded his independent candidacy. The most difficult thing that independent candidates have to overcome is being relevant enough to be included in joint media appearances with major party candidates and being covered by the media. By failing to get on the ballot, traditional media will now look at him in a different light. If a candidate can’t collect the 4200 signatures need to place his name on the ballot, you can’t really take him seriously.

This situation makes Narcisse look like more of a self-promoter or attention seeker than a serious gubernatorial candidate. While his passion for reforming state government is something to admire and his proposals deserve consideration, Narcisse is not ready to lead the state. Not only does he lack the discipline that a statewide campaign requires, but he has placed his credibility in question by not being forthcoming about his true reasons for changing course mid-race.

Instead of running for governor, Narcisse should have run for the State House of Representatives or State Senate. Not only would he have had a better shot at getting elected, but he also could have advocated for change like he did while on the Des Moines school board. While his time there was marred by controversy, he accomplished a lot of what he set out to do. It’s unfortunate that he was unwilling to do the same for state government.

Below is the interview with Narcisse that was conducted by Dave Davidson.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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Posted by on March 19, 2010.

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Categories: Iowa, News Center, Top Story

23 Responses

  1. Craig…excellent article, and no surprise to just about anyone. Narcisse had his 15 minutes, and it is time to move on.

    by mirage on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:18 am

  2. Typical Jonathan Narcisse: Overpromise & Underdeliver. Anyone who was a paid subscriber to the Cyclone Nation website during his tenure as Owner/Grand Poobah could have told you that this was going to happen. No, I’ll take that back: If this were analagous to his tenure at CN, his underperformance would be immediately followed by Steve Deace coming back from his browsing on the Michigan sports websites and laying out a blistering rant about how he and Jonathan work their ASSES off for all you unappreciative a-holes and how you don’t deserve half of what they give you. Then he’d proceed to ban anyone who asks questions from the forum, and disparage their social & parenting skills.

    I don’t dislike Jonathan. I think he performed a valuable service on the school board, but he doesn’t belong in any position as important as Governor. Or Mayor. Or Dogcatcher.

    by Russ from Winterset on Mar 19, 2010 at 6:46 am

  3. Russ, excellent analysis! Narcisse is truly a narcissist as is his buddy deace, how else could you explain their actions and motivations?

    by Timmy on Mar 19, 2010 at 6:56 am

  4. The fun thing to watch will be when TEB and Culver are the nominees of their respective parties, Narcisse runs as an independent, and the IFPC endorses Narcisse because of their childish temper tantrum. The IFPC will then move further towards complete irrelevancy, and will, of course, hurt their cause in the process.

    by Mr. Hawk on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

  5. Wake up Mr. Hawk… You’re dreaming.

    by TEApublican on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:44 am

  6. Brian English of the IFPC hinted on Deace’s show a few weeks ago that this was a distinct possibility.

    by Mr. Hawk on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

  7. If IFPC is going to play the guilt by association game and crucify Branstad for Joy Corning, they would be utter hypocrites if they support a candidate who voted for Culver and Obama.

    by Scott M on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:56 am

  8. English & the IFPC are about as pure as the melting slush outside! There’s a lot of glass in their house, they may want to consider that the next time they start throwing stones…….

    by Timmy on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:00 am

  9. Scott, that would require the IFPC to actually put thought into their decision and to forgo their collective temper tantrum based on personalities for some semblance of intellectual consistency.

    As neither of those things are likely with the IFPC at this point, the most we can do is point and laugh.

    This was such a monumental strategic error on their part that everyone associated with it should be fired and the organization disbanded. They look that bad at this point.

    by Mr. Hawk on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:02 am

  10. Scott: Deace voted for Obama, but that’s ok. They’re willing to overlook that.

    by Deace voted for Obama on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:04 am

  11. This goes to show just how toxic is deace. These disciples of deace get so caught up in their worship of deace they lose all reasonable logic.

    At this point, they know that they must continue with this worship or they know the same thing will happen to them that happens to anyone else who refuses to worship deace.

    This is one of the reasons why BVP is not trusted. Again, I want to know if BVP gave real solutions to the power grab going on in DC. Again, talk is cheap. We need practical solutions.

    by Deace voted for Obama on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

  12. Interesting Mr. Hawk, that is interesting. I doubt it will happen, but I understand your reference now.

    by TEApublican on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:24 am

  13. Yes, very interesting indeed. Craig could write a movie review and these rejects would somehow turn it into a BVP hit piece. I smell desparation.

    by Iowans Rock on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:18 am

  14. LOL

    by Craig Robinson on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:20 am

  15. OOOH OOOH OOOH. Let me try:

    Elmer Gantry. 1960. Directed by Richard Brooks, who adapted Sinclair Lewis’ novel to the screen.

    Burt Lancaster & Jean Simmons were brilliant, but I was a little disappointed that the screenplay didn’t follow the novel as closely as I would have liked. They gave it a little too much “Hollywood schmaltz” and didn’t go for the throat like Lewis did in the book. Once again, Arthur Kennedy and Dean Jagger showed that they were two of the greatest supporting actors of that period (they’ve never gotten their due, IMHO).

    …discuss among yourselves.

    by Russ from Winterset on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

  16. Geeze, I’m old enuf I saw that movie during its first-run but I’m also old enuf I don’t remember a darn thing about it.

    by Conservative Demo on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

  17. its sad the two partys have such a lock that a person who wants to get something done is blocked out. 19 days was not enough time.

    I’m sure you all be real happy with CC, TEB, or BVP. over and over again

    by JB Johnson on Mar 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

  18. Wait. Was that just a comment defending Jonathan Narcisse?

    Excuse me.


    Thank you for indulging me. Now, back to your regularly scheduled comments.

    by Ankeny Guy on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm

  19. Narcisse doesn’t know if he is coming or going. Poor lad.

    by AuH20 on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  20. AuH20 wrote: “Narcisse doesn’t know if he is coming or going. Poor lad.”

    That’s what she said.

    by Herbie Hancock on Mar 19, 2010 at 4:53 pm

  21. Come now Mr. Johnson…surely you’re not that ignorant. Mr. Narcisse has had well more than 19 days to get the required signatures to get on the ballot for the Democratic Party primary.

    Candidates from both parties have been out getting signatures since last FALL for their petitions. The only person Mr. Narcisse has to blame for not being able to get the required number of signatures is HIMSELF.

    Lamenting about other candidates only demonstrates laziness on Narcisse’s part, Mr. Johnson.

    Although..we all will have something to be thankful for…as Narcisse and his fellow Deace buddy Alan Kozlow won’t be on the radio so much with Deace anymore now that they are both going to be candidates for office again…

    by OxfordHeights on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm

  22. None of you should be happy about this. He never planned to actually run against Culver. He IS a Democrat and former party leader. He is running to take votes away from the GOP and get Culver re-elected with 42% of the vote. He should be aggressively savaged at all opportunities.

    by Waywardson on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm

  23. Interesting line of thought Waywardson.

    by TEApublican on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm

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Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Iowa Republican. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 counties. With over eight years of Iowa fundraising experience, Robinson has helped numerous Republican candidates implement fundraising strategies […]more →