Across the country, Election Day 2017 featured a slate of political newcomers, spurred to run for office by the current political climate. Among them: Vito Perillo, 93.
The widower and World War II veteran was elected mayor of Tinton Falls, New Jersey in Tuesday’s election, becoming Election Day’s oldest winner.
Perillo had never before been involved in politics. After serving in the Navy, he worked as an electronics engineer and an accountant. According to CBS News, he decided to start his political career at the ripe age of 93 because, he says, “the tax rate went up considerably and I thought I got to do something about it.”
When he entered the mayoral race four months ago, Perillo put forward a platform that included lowering taxes and increasing transparency and accountability. He relied on door knocking and hand shaking to aid his campaign and enlisted the help of his grandson to create a Facebook page. He told NBC News 4, “I like for people to see that as old as I am, you can still do and accomplish things.”
Perillo beat incumbent Gerald Turning in the nonpartisan election with 53% of the vote. Following his win, Perillo said, “I’m the mayor of all the people, even the people who didn’t vote for me.”