Florida mayor criticized after issuing Confederate Memorial Day proclamation

A Florida mayor declared April 26 Confederate Memorial Day in his city of Ocala during a city council meeting Tuesday night.

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By Wednesday Mayor Kent Guinn was addressing the media over criticism he received in the wake of the proclamation.

"I did this proclamation last night," Guinn said. "Marion County did one on (March 19). I did one in 2014. I did one in 2013. I did one in 2012. And Mayor (Gerald) Ergle did one in 2005, and not one word of a problem," he explained to reporters during a press conference.

Council President Mary Sue Rich called the proclamation “offensive” and said it made her stomach turn.

"When people say you (are) a member of the Klu Klux Klan, I'm beginning to believe them," Rich said about Guinn.

"I don't think you deserve to be the mayor of Ocala. I hope somebody runs against you, because you keep coming up with more and more negative stuff."

Guinn denied rumors that he’s a Klansman.

"For anybody to say that I'm a racist or a member of the KKK -- that's the most ridiculous thing that I've heard," he said. "I am not -- repeat not -- in the KKK. I never have been. I never will be. And I despise and hate everything that organization stands for."

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