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Mayor Who Took Office in 1949 Finally Defeated

93-year-old was Florida's longest-serving mayor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2014 1:43 AM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2014 3:14 AM CDT
Mayor Who Took Office in 1949 Finally Defeated
John Land waves after being recognized by the Florida Senate in Tallahassee, in March 2011.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

After a nearly unbroken spell in office going back to the Truman administration, Mayor John Land is finally out of office in Apopka, Fla. The 93-year-old was narrowly defeated by a 56-year-old challenger who campaigned on the need for more youthful leadership in the city of 44,000, reports the Los Angeles Times. Land—a keen conservationist who reduced his salary to $0 several years ago—had been in office since 1949 with only a two-year break in the '60s, ABC notes.

Land says he is "too old to cry" about the defeat but he's not going to laugh it off. When addressing supporters after the loss, he spoke of his service in World War II. "I think about old Gen. Patton—I served in his Army," he 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." But will he be back to seek another term? "Never say never," he says. (More mayor stories.)

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