New Windsor residents had concerns about the ages of this year's mayoral candidates, but that did not stop them from electing 24-year-old Jack A. Gullo Jr. to lead the town government for the next four years.
Of the town's 352 registered voters, 172 turned out yesterday to vote for a mayor and two Town Council members, whose terms will run until May 1997.
In expectation of victory, Mr. Gullo's family had prepared a celebration, complete with a cake iced to read, "Congratulations, Mayor."
"Do you anticipate defeat?" Mr. Gullo said of the preplanning. "You'd never win anything that way."
The mayor-elect, who spent much of his childhood in New Windsor, expects to receive his law degree from Widener School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., this month.
Mr. Gullo will be taking his final exam today, but said, "That's law school. That's not important. You don't look where you're stepping, you look where you're going."
He plans to open a law practice in New Windsor at the end of the year when he passes the bar exam.
Mr. Gullo received 100 votes.
Matthew Purkins, 18, received 50 votes for mayor. Several other residents received write-in votes, including former Mayor H. Cassell Roop, his son Neal C. Roop, and outgoing Mayor James C. Carlisle.
"I may run for council in two years if I'm still in New Windsor," Mr. Purkins said.
Mr. Purkins works part time at New Windsor Pharmacy and plans to attend Carroll Community College next fall. He is a co-founder of the Francis Scott Key Republican Club, of which he is president and has been treasurer.
Mr. Carlisle and incumbent Councilwoman Rebecca H. Harman were elected to fill the two open council seats.
Ms. Harman received 125 votes; Mr. Carlisle got 111; and political newcomer Paul G. Garver received 99.
"I just want to thank the citizens of New Windsor for having this much confidence in me," said Ms. Harman.
Mr. Carlisle, 69, has just completed his first term as mayor and returns to the council after a nine-year absence. He served on the council from 1976 to 1984.
Ms. Harman, who never tells her age, is a retired school teacher who splits her time between the council, the Carroll Community College advisory board, and various other local activities.
Mr. Garver, 43, is a county stock clerk who has worked with the town's recreation council for 15 years. He heads the town's Community Watch Program, which began earlier this year.
He has served as a baseball, softball and soccer coach in the town and is a former member of the New Windsor Fire Company.
The number of registered voters in New Windsor increased from 315 to 352 since the 1991 election, and yesterday's turnout was a little lower than the 175 who voted in 1991.
Most voted early; 108 people had cast their votes by 4 p.m. and 147 by 6 p.m., said Raymond Strine, the town's election supervisor.