In HD 65, Rep. Peter Nehr unseated by Democrat Carl Zimmerman

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Countryside High School teacher Carl Zimmermann beat Republican incumbent Peter Nehr on Tuesday in the race for State Representative District 65.

Zimmermann had nearly 53 percent of the vote to Nehr’s 47 percent. The candidates were separated by 4,536 votes.

We spoke to Zimmermann by phone shortly after the first absentee ballots were released showing that Zimmermann had the lead over Nehr. He was at home watching election returns with close family members.

“I’m holding my breath,” Zimmermann said.

Nehr and his supporters gathered at the Palm Harbor Lee Roy Selmon’s restaurant on election night. The mood was subdued all evening.

A campaign staffer told us that they knew the race would be close, but the results were a shock.

Nehr spoke to Patch shortly after the election results came in.

“I was a little bit surprised. We thought we were doing everything correctly. The will of the people is the will of the people and if they say they want somebody new, I have to accept that,” said Nehr, who also praised his supporters.

“My supporters, I am so eternally grateful to them. They worked so very hard.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.