Vito Perillo, a 93-year-old World War II veteran will hold elected office for the first time in his long life after winning the race for mayor in a New Jersey borough on Tuesday.
He arrowly unseated the current mayor of Tinton Falls, Gerald Turning, winning 53 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan municipal race. Perillo, who served with the US Navy in the South Pacific from 1944 – 1947, garnered 300 more votes than Turning, according to unofficial election results from the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office.
Perillo, who has been a resident of Tinton Falls for more than 50 years, ran on a platform calling for lower taxes and more transparency. He was partially driven to run after a whistleblower lawsuit against the police department ended in a settlement that cost taxpayers $1.1 million.
He say “as mayor, I will ensure your voice is heard when it comes to making important financial decisions and create a culture of accountability”.
Perillo said when he campaigned, residents of Tinton Falls were eager to hear his message and even “encouraged him.
“They thought my plans made good sense. They believed in my message” he said.