Ben Marciano: A New Face in Florida Politics

Ben Marciano: A New Face in Florida Politics

Ocala, Florida gets a new mayor in community leader

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
|
August 10, 2023

The growing town of Ocala, Florida has had the same mayor, Kent Guinn (R), for over 10 years.  Now, the central Florida community is getting a new mayor in Ben Marciano (R), who may be someone to keep track of in Florida politics in the near future.

A Marion County native, Ben Marciano owns the popular gym chain, Zone Health and Fitness.  However, not everything was easy for the presumptive mayor of Ocala.  Marciano grew up in a single mother household and got by on food stamps while working multiple jobs in his youth.  At the age of 12, Marciano moved in with his grandmother and grandfather, a retired New York City Police Officer, who he credits for teaching many of the important traits that make him who he is today.

In his career, Marciano got his start as a front desk associate for the YMCA.  He would then work his way up to Vice President where in terms of quality, he and his team took the Marion County YMCA location from one of the worst YMCA’s to one of the top Y’s in the country.

Because of his underdog story, The Floridian sat down with Mr. Marciano to discuss his plans for central Florida, and beyond.  When asked about filling the shoes of Ocala’s long-time mayor, Kent Guinn, Marciano stated, “Kent Guinn served the community well.  He’s worked his tail off.  It’s pretty big shoes to fill, but I am looking forward to the opportunity.  We meet on a monthly basis to prepare for the transition.”

When asked about the process that has brought him this far, Marciano detailed, “I prayed on it and talked with my wife and kids – we all agreed that we wanted to serve as a family.  I have outstanding mentors.  I surround myself with people I want to be like and ask them to hold me accountable.  I tell my mentors if they see me focusing on myself and not serving God and the community, call me out.  I truly believe my purpose is to serve people.”

“I want to be a mayor for the whole community.  I don’t think we struggle with majorly divisive issues, but I want to talk with people, learn about the issues and bring people together to get things done.  There is no shortage of work ethic with me, I will always give a 110%.”

Ben Marciano will take office in December of 2023 in an uncontested general election.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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