Breaking News Emails
While campaigning door-to-door to become mayor of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, Vito Perillo burned through two pairs of walking shoes.
An impressive feat for a 93-year-old World War II veteran.
It was that kind of tenacious spirit that earned Perillo the confidence of the voters, and enabled him to pull off an upset in November when he won the seat from an incumbent seeking a second term, NJ.com reported.
"I was tired of the taxes going up, up, up every year. And rather than complain about it, I says 'I'm going to give it a shot,'" Perillo told NBC News' Lester Holt.
Although Perillo is a rookie mayor at 93, it's not the first time he's served his country — during World War II, Perillo was an electronics technician in the Navy. For the following four decades after the war, Perillo worked for the U.S. Department of Defense.
But once he retired from the department, his wife noticed he seemed forlorn.
"She says, 'Why don't you get yourself a job?'" Perillo said with a laugh.
For a while, Perillo worked as a bookkeeper. But when his mayoral aspirations came along, he didn't let age stop him.
Perillo's wife died several years ago, but paid tribute to her during his swearing in ceremony by using her bible.
With his family behind him, Perillo is eager to begin his work serving Tinton Falls.
"A lot of people told me it gave them courage. They listen to the news and it's all bad, all the time bad news," Perillo said. "When they heard about me — 93-year-old man becoming mayor — that put a smile on their faces."