Former Des Moines School Board Member and Gubernatorial Candidate Jonathan Narcisse Dies


Jonathan Narcisse, a controversial former member of the Des Moines School Board and 2010 candidate for governor under his Iowa Party banner, has died at 54.

Narcisse, a reform-minded social conservative who opposed the state Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage in Iowa but took more progressive stances on other issues, also formerly edited the Iowa Bystander newspaper.

News of his death spread Saturday night on social media. “The news of the passing of Jonathan Narcisse has left a void in my heart as well as a large void in Iowa,” state Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, a Des Moines Democrat, said on Facebook. “Prayers and thoughts to his family.”

Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.