The Running Man

Election defeat doesn’t end all hope

(Here is the transcript of the semi-concession speech Syracuse mayoral candidate Jeff Kramer gave last night in front of the “Oracle’s Tears” sculpture at Syracuse University.)

Friends, parolees, inebriates and passers-by,

Three months ago, we embarked on an audacious journey, a journey inspired by a uniquely American idea: That through an aggressive campaign of inappropriate text-messaging popularized by Anthony Weiner, I, too, might grasp the tool of municipal power.

My goal was nothing less than to become mayor of Syracuse. Alas, I have some difficult news on that front.

(pause for loud booing)

Please. Let me continue.

In hindsight, the strategy of widespread texting of photos of my “bulging package” was a mistake. I will say in my defense that these photos were of overstuffed shipping envelopes, not of Senor Snarfleburger McHumpledorf himself. Still, the message did not resonate with most voters, or so it appears.

Michael Davis Photo

Michael Davis Photo

Despite these sobering developments, I took the dramatic step this week of contacting the Onondaga County Board of Elections to demand a recount. This makes me the first candidate in U.S. history to seek a recount prior to the election. To that end, I’d like to share with you a completely non-anatomical text message of support I received from Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny.

“It is an interesting strategy to both admit defeat by demanding a recount and simultaneously disregard that defeat before a single vote is cast. It’s either revolutionary or insane and possibly both.”

Just in case the recount goes badly, I’ve sent Mayor Stephanie Miner an image-free text message congratulating her on her putative victory over basically nobody, and pledging that, despite our differences, I will remain in the biweekly lunch group of blowhards that includes her husband, Jack Mannion. I also assured her that I will work hard to support her administration by not personally becoming the victim of a homicide.

See, it has never been about politics with me. It has been about my connection with you, the voters.

Here’s just one example: There’s a little mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant on Erie Boulevard where I often sought refuge from the craziness of the campaign. Every time I walked through the door, the proprietors had an inspirational message just for me:

“Welcome to Moe’s!”

Again and again this community stiffened my resolve through its generosity and kindness. I’ll never forget the Panera clerk informing me that I’d “earned” a free bagel, or the financial boost our campaign got from Kmart, which emailed me $6 worth of “surprise points” good for any purchase the week of Sept. 5.


Will I run again? It would be foolish to decide tonight, so the answer is “Yes.” In preparation for 2017, I’ve already fired my campaign manager, Wrongway Randy Marshall, and I am exploring changing my identity in acknowlegement that anyone with the last name Cecile seems to get elected around here. James Cecile is a City Court judge. His wife, Julie, is a Family Court judge. His brother Joe is a deputy police chief, which is not an elected post but still. Another brother, Dave Cecile, was expected to win a seat on the school board. So look for me to run next time as Retired Ginger Bread House and Dog Costume Judge Jeff “Kramer” Cecile.

The dream lives, my friends.

Sorry about that.

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