The Wiesbaden SPD candidate Gert-Uwe Mende has won the mayoral elections in Wiesbaden. The lead, which was already apparent after the first constituencies were counted after 6 p.m., solidified later in the evening: it is finally clear that Mende won the race against CDU man Eberhard Seidensticker with 61.8 percent.
Election party with powerful jubilation
The Wiesbaden comrades celebrated the clear victory with mighty cheers and applause: A Social Democrat thus remains at the helm of the Hessian state capital. Gert-Uwe Mende did not strike a victory pose, but answered quietly amid the cheers: "At 6 p.m., the election campaign ended. Now our work for the city of Wiesbaden begins."
He is pleased that the event turned out so clearly and so great. He also thanked the more than 60 percent of Wiesbaden residents "who have given me their trust". He knows, "That’s a leap of faith, and you have to honor it." Mende could convince according to an evaluation of the Hessenschau above all the group of the 45 to 69-year-olds. Seidensticker was only ahead among those aged 70 or older.
Congratulations from party comrades
SPD state leader Thorsten Schafer Gumbel tweeted his congratulations on the "great success."
Nancy Faeser, secretary general of the Hesse SPD and spokeswoman on domestic policy for the SPD state parliamentary group, also posted on Twitter: "Pure joy!" and congratulated warmly.
Pure joy! Congratulations to Gert Uwe Mende on his election as Lord Mayor of the state capital Wiesbaden! #wiesbaden #mende pic.twitter.com/BvY0aZVDcj
— Nancy Faeser (@NancyFaeser) 16. June 2019
In the first round of voting on 26. In the May election, which was held together with the European election, Mende was only just ahead of his Union rival with 27.1 percent, for whom 24.5 percent of voters voted. The Green OB candidate still got 23.4 percent of the vote.
Via Facebook, Mende also thanked his supporters and election helpers in particular: "Together, we have run a brilliant election campaign. 14 weeks ago, no one would have expected us to achieve such a result. You have supported and carried me so great – without your commitment this would not have been possible."
Cold start in January
If one had asked the new OB at the beginning of January, whether the can imagine to become the city leader of the state capital Wiesbaden, he would have answered, that in his life planning not provided, he admits before journalists. Mende was born in 1962, has been a member of the SPD since 1979 and most recently served as executive director of the SPD state parliamentary group since 2006. Mende made a cold start as a candidate after incumbent Mayor Sven Gerich announced at the end of January that he would not run in the direct election after prosecutors investigated him for taking advantage.
A journalist by training, Mende – who worked as an editor at the Hessische/Niedersachsische Allgemeine newspaper in the news/politics department – was press spokesman at the Hessian Ministry of the Interior from 1991 to 1997. Later he headed the minister’s office in the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and of Agriculture, Forestry and Nature Conservation. Until 2006 he was press spokesman for the SPD state parliamentary group. For the past year, he has also been the local mayor of the Deutzheim district. In the election he was ahead in almost all districts, the voter turnout was a rather low 32.1 percent.
Campaign themes: Housing, public transport, climate protection
In the election campaign, Mende focused on classic issues such as combating the housing shortage or improving local transportation, a good network of bike paths, above all, he also emphasized issues of climate protection in the city. He also promised to build bridges between the factions in the city council. His slogan for the runoff election was: "Together for Wiesbaden."