93-Year-Old Florida Mayor Who Took Office In 1949 Finally Defeated

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A 93-year-old World War II veteran who spent a nearly unbroken term in office as mayor of Apopka, Fla., was finally defeated by a 56-year-old challenger.

Conservative Mayor John Land says he’s “too old to cry” about losing the election.

He’s been mayor of the city, with a current population of 44,000, since Harry Truman was president.

He had only a three-year break from serving, during the 1960s.

"I love Apopka still, but I'll probably have a broken heart,” Land said.

Land’s opponent, Joe Kilsheimer, ran on a platform that Apopka needs more youthful and energetic leadership.

During his concession, Land told his supporters about his service in World War II.

"I think about old Gen. Patton — I served in his Army," Land said. "He had a saying: 'I wouldn't give two hoots in hell for someone who lost and laughed about it.' That's how I feel."

The election created a record-setting turnout in Apopka, which is Seminole for “potato-eating place.”

Land spent nearly $100,000 on the election and netted 46 percent of the vote. Kilsheimer spent only $40,000 and captured 54 percent of the vote.

The 93-year-old may run again one day.

"Never say never," he said.

Sources: Newser, Los Angeles Times