In HD 65, Republican Peter Nehr ahead of Democrat Carl Zimmermann, 46% to 42%

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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.

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.