Marciano announces run for Mayor

File photo: Ben Marciano, the owner of Zone Health & Fitness, speaks during the 2nd-annual Greg Graham Legacy Walk at Zone Health & Fitness in Ocala, Fla. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The event to honor Graham raised more than $100,000 for the Greg Graham Legacy Foundation. Graham was killed in a plane crash near the Dunnellon Airport on Oct. 25, 2020. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

Home » Politics
Posted December 3, 2022 | By Rosemarie Dowell

A political newcomer is hoping to unseat a longtime incumbent for Mayor of Ocala in next year’s election.

Businessman Ben Marciano, owner of Zone Health and Fitness, has formally filed paperwork to run against City of Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, according to a press release issued Friday by Marciano’s campaign.

Marciano said his campaign platform will focus on three issues – public safety, mental and physical health of citizens, and strategic growth.

“I am confident with my business experience, my community heart, and get-it-done attitude, I will successfully serve our whole community – preparing for appropriate growth, while preserving the safety and spirit of our hometown,” said Marciano, a married father of three, in the release.

The Mayor of Ocala position is non-partisan and largely ceremonial with a nominal pay of $550 a month and no vote, but veto power, on the Ocala City Council.

However, because of the structure of Ocala government, the mayor has sole oversight of the Ocala Police Department.

His early career as a successful health trainer eventually led Marciano to the executive director position of the Frank DeLuca YMCA Family Center, which under his leadership, became one of the top YMCAs in the country. He opened Zone Health in 2014 and it now has two locations in the Ocala area with dozens of employees.

Marciano has served as a board member of The Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs of America in Marion County, the Greg Graham Legacy foundation and the Community Foundation, and has been involved with several other organizations including Arnette House, Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection and the Pearl Project.

He received the Ocala Rotary Club’s Community Service Award for 2020-21 and chaired the American Heart Association local heart walk in 2019.

The New York City native has an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Central Florida College. Marciano and his wife, Danielle, attend Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, with their children.

Marciano, who formed an exploratory committee over the summer said the support for his run has been very strong.

“Let’s make sure we keep Ocala a safe and healthy community for generations to come.” – Marciano.

Guinn who was elected as Mayor in Dec. 2011, has publicly announced his intentions to run for reelection.

Marciano did not immediately respond to a voice mail message left Friday, and a phone call to Guinn was unanswered as well.

For details on Marciano’s run for Mayor of Ocala go to

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