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.”