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Race too close to call mid evening Tuesday

Published November 8, 2006


Republican Peter Nehr encountered surprising competition in the race for State House District 48 from high school teacher Carl Zimmermann, who has never held elected office.

The race was too close to call at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday with Republican Nehr, a Tarpon Springs city commissioner, barely leading Democrat Zimmermann in a Republican stronghold. Both men said they were feeling confident Tuesday night.

“I felt that we were going to be neck and neck,” Zimmermann said. “All I’ve said all along is I hope to be on the other side of 50.”

Nehr said the race was closer than he expected.

“But it doesn’t matter to me if we win by 1 percent or if we win by 20 percent,” Nehr said. “What’s important is that we win.”

Both candidates said they were soaked by late afternoon. But if it had to rain, Nehr said he’s glad it rained in the afternoon and not during the after-work rush hour. Zimmermann said he was a little nervous about the rain, especially after reading that rain reduces the turnout of Democratic voters.

Mary Lewis, 49, was at Oldsmar’s City Hall voting at around lunchtime.

“I’m trying to swing some seats to the Democrats,” Lewis said. “That’s my objective. There are so many open seats for grab.”

Marty Peters, 59, a retired high school teacher, stood in the rain at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Tarpon Springs, holding a sign for Democrat Phyllis Busansky, a candidate in the 9th Congressional District.

He wouldn’t say whether he voted for Zimmermann or Nehr but did say he thought Nehr was an effective commissioner who does good constituent service.

- Tamara El-Khoury can be reached at (727) 445-4181 or

[Last modified November 8, 2006, 06:26:25]

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