For the third time in six years, Peter Nehr and Carl Zimmermann are running against each other for a seat in the Florida House and, if the latest polling numbers are any indication, the election results will likely be the same as in years past.
According to a new survey conducted by St. Pete Polls, Nehr is at 46.1% in the polls, while Zimmermann is at 42.2%. Approximately 12% of voters remain undecided. The poll of likely voters was conducted Oct. 1 through Oct. 3.
District 65 is a right-leaning district that includes Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin and parts of East Lake. Nehr, who easily bested three challengers in the August primary, has the fundraising advantage — more than $50,000 left in the bank after spending nearly $120,000 so far, according to campaign filings with the state Division of Elections. Zimmermann, 61, has about $7,700 left of the roughly $17,000 he’s raised.
Zimmermann believes his best path to victory is to remind voters of what he feels are Nehr’s negatives — among them two bankruptcies and Nehr’s former venture into the controversial Internet sweepstakes cafe industry.
“I’m not really a negative person,” Zimmermann said. “But in 2008, they ran a TV commercial against me saying I support a state income tax, which is just not true at all. And yet he has all these real negatives that are true, that are documented.”
To Nehr, the approach is a sign of desperation from a man he calls the “perennial candidate.” Zimmermann also ran for state House in 1992, as a Republican, and lost in the primary.
“Instead of sticking to the issues,” Nehr said, “he is trying to use a smear campaign to win an election he cannot win any other way.”
Material from the Bay Buzz was used in this post.