Also in Pinellas County, another Democrat, Dwight Dudley, defeated Republican Frank Farkas, a former House member.
Zimmerman had 53 percent of the vote in the race for House District 65. Zimmerman’s victory came despite Nehr’s significant spending advantage. Nehr, who took office in 2006, raised more than $225,000 for his campaign compared to $48,000 raised by Zimmerman.
In House District 68, Dudley also was significantly outraised, but defeated Farkas, a Republican who served in the House from 1998 to 2006 in a Democrat leaning district that includes portions of downtown St. Petersburg.
Farkas, a chiropractor, outraised Dudley by a nearly three-to-one margin, $252,041 to $87,430. Dudley, a trial attorney, won the district by a 51-44 percent margin. Matthew Weidner, a non-affiliated candidate, posted 4.8 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, Republican candidate Kathleen Peters defeated financial planner Josh Shulman to represent residents of the Gulfport and the Pinellas County beaches in House District 69.
Peters, the mayor of South Pasadena, defeated Shulman 52-48 percent.
Republican incumbent Larry Ahern defeated Democrat Mary Louise Ambrose in House District 66 by 53 percent to 47 percent and Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, beat Democrat Ben Farrell 53 percent to 47 percent in House District 67.