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    Tarpon elects commissioner

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published February 6, 2003

    TARPON SPRINGS -- Peter Nehr was elected city commissioner over Roger Sellew Tuesday night in a race that was tight but polite to the end.

    Nehr nearly claimed a majority with 1,370 votes, or about 49.7 percent, to Sellew's 1,023 votes, or 37.1 percent. Business owner Spanos Harding received 284 votes, and attorney Wayne Ekren received 81 votes.

    "Oh, man, I feel absolutely elated, wonderful, relieved," said Nehr, 50, who owns three Sponge Docks shops and ran unsuccessfully for the commission last year.

    "I was hoping to get an absolute majority but I really wouldn't have cared as long as I won by one vote."

    Voters also overwhelmingly agreed to let the city proceed with two deals involving city-owned land -- the lease of 19 acres behind Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital to a developer for a senior apartment community, and the sale of a 0.4 acre lot on Hibiscus Street.

    Voter turnout, at 19.13 percent of the city's 14,642 registered voters, exceeded the candidates' expectations.

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