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Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn announces his plans for re-election

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn has announced his plans to run for re-election as city mayor.

At the end of his current term, Guinn will have served as mayor for 10 years, and he’s hoping to stay in the seat for at least two more.

He said it was Chief Greg Graham’s passing and the appointment of Chief Mike Balken, that inspired him to go for a sixth term.

Related story: Ocala’s new Chief of Police Mike Balken speaks to TV20 about Black Lives Matter movement, defunding the police and more

“Just at this point in time with him being new to being Chief and how important the police department is to our community, I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t walk away from those men and women at the police department,” he said.

Guinn added that he wants the opportunity to continue to improve crime rates especially in young people.

“I’ve got 11, 14 year olds stealing cars, having gun fights and things like that and it’s terrible to see that generation almost lost,” Guinn said.

Guinn said he hasn’t officially filed yet, but he - and any candidate wanting to run against him - will need to do so in July.

Elections officials said that the City of Ocala qualifying dates are from noon on July 12, to noon, July 16.

Three out of five Ocala city council seats are up for grabs. Brent Malever and Jay Musleh are both incumbents of the council and so far are running uncontested.

Council president Justin Grabelle, who oversees District 5, is not seeking re-election. Candidate Gregory Steen is hoping to take his place.

The election will be held on Sept. 21.

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