Mayor Guinn will not seek reelection

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn speaks as he honors Ocala’s Winter Olympics speed skating medalists Erin Jackson, Joey Mantia and Brittany Bowe on the Ocala Downtown Square after the Ocala Parade of Champions in Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, March 26, 2022. After the parade, all three Ocala Winter Olympians, and their first coach, Renee Hildebrand, were honored and received keys to the City of Ocala from Mayor Kent Guinn. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted April 6, 2023 | Staff report

At the close of the Ocala City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 4, Mayor Kent Guinn announced that he would not be seeking reelection.

Guinn has served 12 years as mayor, and before that served 12 years on the city council.

Thus far, Ben Marciano is the only person who has filed to run for the mayoral seat. Marciano reports that he has raised $107,000 for his campaign to date.

In addition to the mayoral seat, the city of Ocala will have two city council seats up for election this year. 

Incumbent Ire Bethea has already filed to run again for the District 2 city council seat and has drawn one opponent, Reginald E. Landers Jr. 

Incumbent Kristen Dreyer has already filed to run again for District 3 city council seat and has drawn no opponents.

The city elections are nonpartisan and open to qualified candidates registered under the district they live in, regardless of their party affiliation. This election, the city will be using new district boundary maps, redrawn after the 2020 census. 

The mayor’s seat is a two-year term, while the city council seat is a four-year term.

City Clerk Angel Jacobs oversees qualifying candidates, and interested candidates can reach out to her for more information about what that entails. Jacob’s email is 

Jacobs said that the qualifying period for candidates begins at noon on July 10 and ends at noon on July 14. 

The general election is scheduled for Sept. 19. If needed, the runoff election is set for Nov. 21.

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