Winner elected in race for Ocala mayor; November runoff for council seat

Polls closed Tuesday at 7 p.m. and an hour later, one at-large seat on the Ocala City Council had been set and the other was headed for a November runoff election.

Mayor Kent Guinn won re-election with just over 59 percent of the vote (3,094), while challenger Barbara Fitos garnered 2,141 votes.

The race for the District 2 seat will go to a runoff election on Nov. 19 after Tyrone Oliver failed to get 50 percent of the votes. He tallied 43.82 percent of the votes cast, or 2,136, and will face off against Ire J. Bethea Sr., who received 1,578 votes, or 32.38 percent. The third challenger for the seat, Reginald E. Landers Jr., received 1,160 votes, or 23.8 percent.

The District 2 seat will be filled by a new member because Council President Mary Sue Rich decided not to run for re-election after serving on the City Council for 24 years.

Perhaps the most notable figure in the results was voter turnout. Of the 36,506 registered voters in Ocala, less than 15 percent showed up to the polls on Tuesday. That means that more than 30,000 registered voters sat out this election.

In the past two city elections, voter turnout was even less, with 13.99 percent (4,834) showing in 2017 and an 11.9 percent (3,646) showing in 2015. In both of those elections, Guinn won re-election by double digit margins.

For more detailed precinct results, visit the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website.