Hannes Loth: First full-time mayor of the AfD in Raguhn-Jeßnitz elected

For the second time within a few days, the AfD has won a local election.

Hannes Loth: First full-time mayor of the AfD in Raguhn-Jeßnitz elected

For the second time within a few days, the AfD has won a local election. In the small town of Raguhn-Jeßnitz, the party will have a full-time mayor for the first time in Saxony-Anhalt. In the runoff election on Sunday, AfD member of parliament Hannes Loth prevailed over non-party candidate Nils Naumann. The AfD even spoke on Twitter of the first AfD mayor in Germany – with a mayor in Burladingen in Baden-Württemberg until 2020 who had switched to the AfD.

Just a week ago, Robert Stuhlmann was elected as the first AfD district administrator in Sonneberg, southern Thuringia. This had further fueled the debate about the current high of the AfD, which the constitutional protection classifies nationwide as a suspected case in the area of ​​right-wing extremism. In Germany-wide polls, the party ranks at around 20 percent.

In Raguhn-Jeßnitz, 42-year-old Loth received 51.13 percent of the votes, as the city in south-eastern Saxony-Anhalt announced on its Facebook page in the evening. According to the provisional election result, 31-year-old Naumann got 48.87 percent. Voter turnout was reported to be 61.51 percent. A total of 7,800 of the approximately 8,800 residents of Raguhn-Jeßnitz were entitled to vote.

"I am totally surprised, flashed and I would like to thank all voters," said Loth, who has been a member of the state parliament since 2016. He is also available for those who would not have voted for him. His election campaign was based purely on municipal issues - it's about strengthening the fire brigade, daycare centers and more citizen participation. He doesn't know whether the choice of Stuhlmann helped him. Congratulations for Loth came on Twitter from AfD party leader Alice Weidel, among others.

Even when the polling stations were still open, some supporters had already gathered in front of Loth's office to wait for the result over muffins - including the journalist Jürgen Elsässer, editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine "Compact". The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies the magazine as a proven right-wing extremist effort. The state chairman of the AfD, Martin Reichardt, also came to Raguhn-Jeßnitz.

Like his opponent Naumann, Loth grew up in Raguhn-Jeßnitz. He is a farmer and was a manager in an agricultural company. According to his own statements, Loth has been a city councilor in Raguhn-Jeßnitz since 2016 and a member of the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district council since 2019.

The non-party Naumann, who narrowly lost the election, said it didn't matter to him whether there would be an AfD mayor in the future. "I'm concerned with facts and objectivity and not with the party," said Naumann of the German Press Agency. As city council chairman, he will continue to work for the citizens.

In the first round, Loth got 40.7 percent of the votes, Naumann got 36.9 percent; two other applicants were well behind. The gap between Loth and Naumann was less than 200 votes. Naumann has been chairman of the city council since 2019 and works as a department head in neighboring Bitterfeld-Wolfen.

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