Jonathan Narcisse is kicking off a tour across Iowa today following his recent entry into the race for Iowa governor as a third-party candidate.
Narcisse announced his 99-county tour in Fort Dodge on Friday. Following the announcement, he came to Webster City.
He last visited Webster City in late-January. At that time, he was seeking the democratic nomination for governor. However, he did not end up on the primary ballot as it was ruled that his nomination petitions were incomplete.
Jonathan Narcisse, right, files to run on the ballot for Iowa Governor in Des Moines.
Narcisse is continuing his bid for governor as a third-party candidate. As a gubernatorial candidate, Narcisse said he has the opportunity to create a new political party in the state.
The Iowa Party, he said, will exist as a unique, hybrid type of political party. Narcisse said the goal of the party is not to encourage individuals to leave the republican and democratic parties. Rather, the Iowa Party invites voters to focus their efforts on finding pragmatic solutions for state and local issues.
"There are issues that are unique to Iowa that are ignored," Narcisse said. "Part of the problem with our political parties, as it relates to day-to day governance, is that the leadership of our political parties is elected based upon their passion for national agendas."
He said those ignored issues include the practice of funding non-existent students, reforming critical components of government, the disparity of justice in the state and rebuilding the state's economy.
Narcisse will compete for the governor's seat with republican nominee and current Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and democratic nominee Jack Hatch in this year's general election on Nov. 4. Narcisse said bipartisan greed and cronyism has dominated governance in Iowa over the past couple decades. He said both of his opponents have contributed to that.
"Their rhetoric differs, but they're the same politician," Narcisse said.
That corruption, according to Narcisse, stems from the strong control that the largest two parties have on different areas of Iowa. When one party dominates a city, a rural area or a community, Narcisse said it's difficult to keep them accountable. The Iowa Party, he said, would help provide oversight.
Narcisse also said he wanted to end the "nonsensical hypocrisy" of marijuana prohibition. He said the state could save money by moving recreational drug charges from the criminal to the civil docket, allowing offenders to pay a fine rather than face a prison sentence. He said the state could also bring in money by legalizing marijuana, allowing people to purchase growth permits and then let them sell it at state stores. Under that plan, Narcisse said the state would then take in a percentage of money from sales.
"We're able to then take and use that money for a couple of things. One, some residential property tax relief, and two, to fund critical repairs of our roads, bridges and infrastructure," Narcisse said.
"Personally, I don't see the difference between whisky and weed from a moral or spiritual perspective."
He also spoke in favor of creating a state department of public works which would hire people to rebuild infrastructure at fair wages.
"There are exciting solutions for Iowa. I'm not pessimistic. The thing that excites me most about this state are the people. Iowans are good, decent, honorable, hard-working people," Narcisse said. "We also have trust in people and leadership has taken advantage of their trust. We can do better, especially for our children."
Narcisse has not yet announced a running-mate. More information can be found online at narcisseforgovernor.com.