Big sigh of relief from the SPD, the stronghold of Dortmund is occupied again. After the green election recommendation for CDU candidate Andreas Hollstein, the Social Democrats reacted indignantly – and feared the worst. Since 1946 there has always been a “red” mayor who ruled the Ruhr area.
But at the second election in Dortmund on Sunday, when the 671 polling stations were counted, it soon became apparent that Thomas Westphal, the previous director of Dortmund’s economic development agency, won the election with 51.97 percent of the vote. with a total of 451,710 voters against 32.61 percent.
Westphal stands for the approach of a caretaker policy, he wants to make the city future-proof, be it in traffic planning, but especially in terms of digitization. For example via digital citizen services, via fast internet in companies, schools and households.
“But we will only be a digital city if we emancipate ourselves from the big data companies and maintain our independence, remain sovereign over our data and if we teach ourselves the technology and culture of the digital together,” emphasizes Westphal. His predecessor Ulrich Sierau was no longer driving this time.
Greens conquer Aachen and Bonn
In addition, there were great successes for the Greens: in North Rhine-Westphalia they were able to conquer the chairmen of the town hall in two metropolises for the first time: in Aachen and Bonn, their candidates led the way after more than half of the votes were counted in the second election. for mayoral officer. In Aachen, the Green candidate Sibylle Keupen left her CDU competitor Harald Baal well behind with almost 70 percent.
Clearly won the second round of the mayoral elections in Aachen: Green candidate Sibylle Keupen Photo: dpa / Rolf Vennenbernd
In Bonn, the green candidate Katja Dörner was almost 57 percent ahead of the incumbent Ashok-Alexander Sridharan (CDU). This means that the Greens’ flight at the municipal level is becoming more and more stable, while the SPD is losing.
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Green candidate Daniela Schneckenburger finished third in the first round in Dortmund. A General Assembly of the Greens advised after negotiations with both candidates to vote for the CDU applicant.
“The SPD has not made any concessions on any of the central points of conflict,” explained NRW Greens chairman Felix Banaszak, adding: need change. Dortmund needs the change. ”
There was great disappointment at the SPD – also because they supported the Green candidate in the second election in Bonn. Some see this as further harbingers of a black-and-green coalition after the next federal elections in 2021. On Sunday there were second elections in other municipalities, the results of which are eagerly awaited.
CDU candidate Stephan Keller wins in Düsseldorf
In Düsseldorf, SPD Mayor Thomas Geisel admitted his defeat in the second round against CDU candidate Stephan Keller. After counting about 420 of the 454 constituencies, Keller was 54.89 percent. The incumbent Geisel (SPD) reached 45.1 percent.
Happy with the counts of the first polling stations: Stephan Keller, CDU candidate in Düsseldorf Photo: dpa / Bernd Thissen
Henriette Reker wants to remain mayor (independent) in Cologne. Her opponent Andreas Kossiski (SPD) was behind her in the first vote.
There are second elections for the top two places where in the first round on September 13, none of the candidates received more than half the vote. In 15 independent cities competitions are taking place for the position of mayor and in 11 districts for the district offices.
SPD loses homeland approval
There are also second elections for mayors in more than 100 cities belonging to the district. But almost everywhere, the Social Democrats are dealing with the fact that they are quickly losing approval in their homeland – flickering in the ventricle. On average, only 24.3 percent nationwide voted in the first round of voting in mid-September for the party that ruled North Rhine-Westphalia for decades.
Not only has the state association been rumbling since then, there is a power struggle over the right course between state chairman Sebastian Hartmann and his opponent, party chairman Thomas Kutschaty. The state administration will meet on Monday.
It’s explosive: Federal Presidents Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans are pursuing different goals, mirroring the divisions of the party, as is the SPD state. SPD land chief Hartmann pursues a pragmatic political approach, for which Walter-Borjans also stands: the SPD as a caring party, while the leftist camp, together with the Jusos, often becomes involved in identity politics or in issues that ignore the reality of life on the ground.
Esken recently declined to give Hartmann verbal support. According to information from the daily competition, she relies on Hartmann’s opponents in the NRW-SPD, who want to push the party even further to the left and are strangers to Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz.
The regional association’s pragmatists see Kutschmaty’s office manager Peter Marchewski as the driving force behind the shifting focus efforts backed by NRW lawyers and their former boss Jessica Rosenthal. Rosenthal wants to take over Kevin Kühnert at the head of the federal jusos in November.