Harlow runs on hope

Former quarterback has nostalgic game plan for the city of Syracuse

Carmen Harlow says he's better off now than he was eight years ago. During the Mayoral Odyssey of 2001, he declared his intention to run for the city's top spot and began the process of gathering signatures on nominating petitions, only to withdraw from the race and endorse current incumbent Matt Driscoll. After winning the election, Driscoll appointed Harlow Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

"I'm better off due to that position," he says now, "and I thank the Mayor for it."

After declaring his intentions, Harlow got a phone call from the city personnel department informing him that one of Driscoll's policies prohibited city employees from running for office.

"I was never told that was a policy," Harlow maintains, "but it's time to move on."

Born and raised in Syracuse, Harlow grew up in Pioneer Homes and on Baker Avenue and now lives in the Valley. He was twice elected to represent the then 23rd District on the County Legislature.

"I've had many hats on," he notes, "enjoyed myself. A lot of challenges, lot of ups and downs. A lot of positives."

A product of city public schools, he was a standout quarterback for Nottingham, winning a scholarship to Syracuse University, where he was a reserve at that position.

Although three other candidates have been out campaigning for months for the Democrats' nomination, Harlow does not see himself as a late comer to the race.

"I think they started too early," he says, "But everybody has to get the petitions signed. I've been through this twice already."

Perhaps reflecting on his situation eight years ago, he observes, "If there's a really, really good outstanding candidate, and it's a person I feel I can go ahead and back, then I'll do that. But right now I don't feel there's a great, outstanding candidate that I could back.

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