J. Frank Syms was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was originally a leading organizer for the provincial New Democratic Party, but crossed to the Progressive Conservatives in the 1980s.
Syms served as President of the Manitoba NDP at one stage, and was a candidate for the federal New Democratic Party on two occasions. In the 1963 election, he ran in the riding of Springfield and finished third. He ran in Winnipeg--St. James in the 1979 federal election , and placed a very strong second against Progressive Conservative candidate Bob Lane .
Syms subsequently left the NDP, and ran for the Progressive Conservatives in the 1988 provincial election. Campaigning in the north-end Winnipeg riding of Elmwood, he finished third against NDP incumbent Jim Maloway.
He ran for mayor of Winnipeg in 1989, and finished a distant second against incumbent Bill Norrie (Norrie received over 100,000 votes, Syms received fewer than 20,000). During this campaign, he supported cuts to the city's bureaucracy by attrition and layoffs, and opposed calls for an inquiry into aboriginal justice in the province (arguing that such an inquiry would make Manitobans appear racist). He claimed that he was attempting to appeal to Russell Doern's voters from 1986, but received far fewer votes than Doern.