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Veteran is now a novice

The Daily Progress - 1/6/2018

Sadly, when World War II veterans make the news these days, it's all too often because they have shuffled off these mortal coils and are being remembered posthumously.

Not so Navy veteran Vito Perillo of Tinton Falls, New Jersey. At 93, he's just now starting a new career-as town mayor. He was sworn in earlier this week.

Mr. Perillo once said he didn't think he had a chance of winning, but he jumped into the fray anyway as a statement against corruption.

The in cumbent mayor, who was running for re-election, had been borough police chief from 2004 to 2011 (and also borough administrator from2010 to 2014). As the politically savvy know, it's often difficult to unseat an incumbent.

However, a pair of recent whistleblower lawsuits involving the police department-and costing the town some $1.1 million in settlements-convinced him that a change in leadership was necessary. He also objected to high taxes.

Mr. Perillo threw himself into the race. He wore out two pairs of shoes campaigning door-to-door.

That's a lot of walking, whether you're 93 or 33.

People magazine's politics section talked to Mr. Perillo after his win in November. His opponent, according to Mr. Perillo, had said that "at 93 it was kind a late to get into politics, or something to that effect-that I wasn't up to doing the job. But I knew better."

Indeed, he did. Now, that's the kind of political story we like to see.


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