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Mike Josef becomes the new mayor of Frankfurt


SPD candidate Mike Josef prevailed in the runoff election for the new Frankfurt mayor. In a head-to-head race, he narrowly won against CDU opponent Uwe Becker – and was visibly touched.

Mike Josef won the race. In the mayoral runoff election in Frankfurt, the SPD candidate is the winner shortly before the end of the count. With 51.9 percent of the votes cast, he was unassailable on Sunday evening after counting 565 of the 575 voting districts against CDU opponent Uwe Becker (48.1 percent). Josef succeeds the deselected Peter Feldmann.

“I’m really overwhelmed and just feel grateful,” said the visibly touched Josef with a tear-choked voice to the hr. He wanted to become mayor of all Frankfurters. “It is an honor for me to be given this responsibility and I will deal with it with humility.”

Uwe Becker, whom Josef thanked for a fair election campaign, also acknowledged his defeat before the official results were announced. He wishes Josef all the best in managing the city and hopes that he will advance it, said the 53-year-old. Becker spoke of a good result for him personally and for the CDU.

Prime Minister Rhein: “Of course we are disappointed”

Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU), who was also present at the Römer, expressed his disappointment at the defeat of his party colleague. “We would have liked to have provided the mayor of Frankfurt,” said Rhein. “But you also have to realize that this is a good result under big city conditions.” Becker led a strong election campaign. It would have been a real new beginning for the city, said Rhein.

Around 511,000 Frankfurt residents were called to vote on Sunday. There were around 108,000 applications for postal voting for the runoff, said Stefan Köster from the responsible office for elections and statistics in Frankfurt. That was about 8,000 more than in the first ballot on March 5th.

In the first ballot three weeks ago, Becker was still clearly ahead with a lead of 10.5 percentage points: he got 34.5 percent, Josef 24.0 percent. Nevertheless, the election campaign was looking forward to an exciting race, because several eliminated candidates had made a recommendation for Josef.

Investments in day-care centers, schools and public transport

The 40-year-old Mike Josef, since 2016 planning and since 2021 also sports department head, had the classic SPD career: organization secretary at the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), city councilor in the Römer, Frankfurt party chairman.

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OB runoff also in Kassel

Parallel to the mayoral election in Frankfurt, a runoff election for the office of mayor also took place in Kassel – albeit with only one remaining candidate. After incumbent Christian Geselle surprisingly announced his resignation after the first ballot, only Sven Schoeller (Greens) stood for election.

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During the election campaign, Josef, whose SPD governs in Römer together with the Greens, FDP and Volt, campaigned in particular for investing billions in schools and daycare centers. To this end, he wants to increase the funds planned for several years in the coalition agreement. Other focal points were affordable housing and a climate-neutral city by 2035.

Josef also spoke out in favor of enclosing the A661, the gradual introduction of a 365-euro ticket in Frankfurt and an expansion of public transport. The part of the district east of the A5 decided by the coalition also met with approval.

The AWO scandal, which brought down the previous mayor Peter Feldmann, played at most a supporting role in the election campaign.

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