The SPD politician Mike Josef is the new mayor of the city of Frankfurt. The 40-year-old received 51.7 percent of the votes in a runoff election on Sunday, relegating his opponent Uwe Becker (CDU) to second place, as the city announced, citing the preliminary result. Becker received 48.3 percent.
Josef is thus the successor to the SPD mayor Peter Feldmann, who was voted out and convicted in the Awo affair. In the first ballot at the beginning of March, the CDU candidate Becker had achieved the largest share of the vote.
Josef, SPD chairman in Frankfurt, focused on social issues such as affordable rents during the election campaign. The 40-year-old has so far been the city's head of planning and sports. He came to Baden-Württemberg from Syria as a child and later came to Frankfurt to study. Joseph is married and has two sons. Around 510,000 voters were asked to cast their votes on Sunday, with turnout at 35.4 percent.
In the first ballot in early March, Becker received 34.5 percent of the votes and Josef 24.0 percent. For the run-off election, Josef was then supported by well-known Green politicians, the Green faction in the town hall as well as the left and Volt. Together with these three parties, the SPD governs in Frankfurt. Tram driver Peter Wirth, known as “Bahnbabo”, who surprisingly came fourth (5.1 percent) in the first round, also gave a recommendation for the SPD man.
However, around the first ballot, the affair about the workers' welfare (Awo) boiled up again. A former city executive and, according to media reports, a close confidante of Feldmann's was charged. The former SPD mayor was fined in December for accepting benefits in connection with the Awo affair. The verdict is not yet legally binding. During the election campaign, the CDU had loudly demanded further clarification from Josef.