Press Advisory March 26, 2014
DES MOINES, IOWA - Today at 2:00 p.m. a hearing will be held in the Polk County District Court to determine if Jonathan Narcisse will have access to the June 3rd Democratic primary ballot in the race for Iowa's next governor. Des Moines attorney Alfredo Parrish will argue the case for Narcisse.
Narcisse received enough signatures from more than ten counties and enough signatures in total to qualify for the ballot. Narcisse had signatures from eight counties that were not disputed by the Secretary of State Matt Schultz's office. The title of the office sought was not completed on petition forms in at least two additional counties.
In Iowa's recent past, this omission has proven to be insufficient to warrant disqualification from the ballot. Two years ago State Senator Joe Seng received unanimous support from Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Attorney General Tom Miller and Deputy State Auditor Warren Jenkins, when a number of his petition forms submitted to gain access to the ballot for a statewide race were void the title of the office sought.
Secretary Schultz and Attorney General Miller, in their official capacities, are on the record as supporting voter franchisement and ballot access, when substantial compliance has been met, with a technical exception. The Seng precedent was presented to the Narcisse campaign by the Secretary of State’s legal counsel Charles Smithson with the caveat that this evidence should be beneficial in Narcisse's efforts to gain ballot access.
Smithson, however, will not be arguing the case, the Attorney General’s office will be. And, Attorney General Miller has endorsed Narcisse's primary opponent, Sen. Jack Hatch.
“It is our hope that the Attorney General's office, despite Miller's endorsement of Hatch, will simply acknowledge both Schultz’s and Miller’s precedent setting official positions on this technicality, and not contest our ballot access,” said Narcisse.
“Since the Secretary of State’s legal counsel started the meeting last week with our counsel Parrish, by making him aware of the Seng precedent, we are hopeful today's proceedings will result in the spirit of fair play.”
To contest ballot access for Narcisse would be an outrageous introduction of politics in a matter of fairness that was resolved by these two state office holders personally in their official capacity in the Seng case.
Media inquiries can be directed to Alfredo Parrish at 515-284-5737