Epilogue: Pete Nehr’s stock manages to sink further

nehr, peter

How the mighty have fallen.

Pete Nehr, something of a big deal a decade ago, started his political career on the Tarpon Springs City Commission in the early aughts, before breaking into state-level politics with a 2-point win over former Democratic Rep. Carl Zimmerman in 2006.

The Tarpon Springs Republican successfully defended that seat a couple times, notching another 2-point win over Zimmerman in 2008 and routing Democrat Tim McKone by 23 points in 2010. He lost his seat two years later, however, after redistricting created a more favorable district for Zimmerman’s comeback bid.

Since then, the Austrian immigrant has racked up a couple borderline embarrassing losses.

His 2014 Pinellas County Commission bid saw him take second place in the Republican Primary won by eventual Commissioner Dave Eggers.

Today? It’s unclear if Nehr could even make a successful run for dog catcher.

One of the deep cuts on the Tuesday ballot was the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire District Board, in which the top two of four candidates win the job.

Out of the four candidates in the mix, incumbent Tom “Steve” McQueen, McKone, Maryellen Crowder and himself, he finished dead last.

But dead last doesn’t do it justice. McQueen won the race with 38 percent of the vote, and Nehr was only able to muster a third of that. If McKone has a vindictive bone in his body, it just got excised — 8 years after he got blown out in the House race, he came out 14 points ahead of Nehr to earn the second of two spots.

The No. 3 finisher, Crowder, doubled Nehr.

The takeaway for Nehr, if he wants one, is that he’s rarely anybody’s first pick and he’s rarely their second, either.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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