World War II veteran Vito Perillo wasn’t about to let age stop him in his quest to become mayor of Tinton Falls, New Jersey.
The 93-yer-old wore out two pairs of shoes going door-to-door to hand out 7,500 campaign fliers. His successful grassroots campaign led to the stunning defeat of incumbent Gerald Turning in November.
Perillo, a former electronics engineer for the U.S. Department of Defense, a U.S. Navy veteran and newcomer to politics, was sworn-in Tuesday.
The Bible he used was one that belonged his late wife Mae, who died in 2013. They had been married for 64 years.
Perillo said he didn’t think he had a chance of winning but decided to run following a pair of whistleblower lawsuits involving the police department that cost the borough a reported $1.1 million in settlements.
Turning was the borough police chief from 2004 to 2011. He was also the borough administrator from 2010 to 2014.
As mayor, Perillo will oversee a $24 million budget. He’s also required to attend two monthly mayoral meetings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.