Former state Rep. Peter Nehr will seek Pinellas commission seat

Published Mar. 17, 2014

Former Republican state Rep. Peter Nehr will run for the District 4 seat on the Pinellas County Commission this November, he announced on Monday.

Nehr first filed to run for the seat more than a year ago, but then withdrew after learning that Commissioner Susan Latvala planned to run again. He also waited out former Commissioner Neil Brickfield, who announced plans to run and then changed his mind. Now Nehr's in again, making him the 10th candidate in the race for the North Pinellas district, which includes Safety Harbor, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, East Lake, Tarpon Springs, and Oldsmar.

Nehr, 61, is also a former Tarpon Springs city commissioner. He served six years in the state House, from 2006 to 2012, before losing his bid for a fourth House term in 2012 to Democrat Carl Zimmermann, who got 53 percent of the vote in the race for House District 65.

Well-known in North Pinellas, Nehr could still face a tough election. In 2012, he made national news for sending his friends pictures of himself shirtless — intended, he said, to show them how much weight he'd lost while struggling with diabetes. Later, the Tampa Bay Times found that after Nehr lost his bid for a fourth term in the House, he used campaign funds to pay his live-in girlfriend, an acupuncturist, $22,000 for what he said was, "consulting, editing and fundraising" work.