Iowa’s race for Governor this year currently features four candidates.
The major party nominees are incumbent Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, and former Governor Terry Branstad, the Republican. The other party nominee in the race is Libertarian Eric Cooper, who lost an extreme amount of weight in preparation for his campaign.
Running as an independent is Jonathan Narcisse — a newspaper publisher, former member of the Des Moines School Board and former Democratic activist.
Narcisse announced earlier this year that he would challenge Governor Culver in the Democratic primary — and if he lost, turn around and run as an independent. A few months later, Narcisse announced that he would forego the primary campaign in favor of making a strictly independent bid.
On his decision Narcisse stated: “Iowans don’t want gamesmanship from their leaders. They want leadership. Leadership that will place principal above party, and people above politics. Leadership that listens. And what I heard Iowans saying to me is they do not what me to run as a partisan, but as an Iowan.”
A Rasmussen Poll released last month shows that Governor Culver is in serious trouble, losing to the Republican by a margin of 15%. But the survey failed to include Narcisse or the Libertarian candidate. Even still, six percent of those polled volunteered “some other candidate” as their preferred choice.
If you doubt Narcisse’s ability to speak at length on the issues, don’t — his website includes a video of a town hall appearance at which he spoke and answered questions for well over an hour.
It’s always encouraging to see third party and independent candidates who have a resume that includes some level of accomplishment – be it in business, as an elected or appointed official or in the non-profit world. Narcisse’s experience in local government and as a local newspaper publisher make him an interesting candidate worth watching in November.