Election in Bremen: Popular and North German sober: Andreas Bovenschulte

Election in Bremen: Popular and North German sober: Andreas Bovenschulte

Bremen’s Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte is popular in the smallest federal state, and the SPD election campaign was tailored entirely to him. Now he has given the SPD a solid election victory. How does Bovenschulte tick?

Andreas Bovenschulte attracts attention when he enters a room. At almost two meters, Bremen’s mayor towers over most people. Even during the election campaign, “Bovi”, as he has been called since childhood, could not be overlooked: His likeness was primarily seen on the SPD election posters, and “I’m going to vote for Bovi” on cloth bags. Many Bremen residents did that on Sunday: there are many indications that Bovenschulte will remain in office.

The 57-year-old lawyer has been in charge of Bremen City Hall for four years. Nevertheless, the past election campaign was his first as a top candidate. In 2019, the SPD achieved its historically worst result in the state. For the first time in over 70 years, the party was not the strongest force, but ended up second behind the CDU. As a consequence, the then mayor Carsten Sieling withdrew.

The SPD nominated Bovenschulte, who was previously the mayor of the neighboring municipality of Weyhe in Lower Saxony, as his successor. For the past four years he has led the first red-green-red government in a West German state – without much crunching.

A stir during the corona pandemic

Making the best out of a crisis, Bovenschulte also managed to do that during the corona pandemic. The head of government became a sought-after interview partner: Bremen was long considered the frontrunner when it came to vaccinations, and schoolchildren were equipped with tablets for distance learning faster than anywhere else.

The people of Bremen value Bovenschulte for his sober North German manner. Only a few have seen him as touched as he was on election night when he mentioned his parents. The father of two adult daughters has an affinity for people – this was also evident during the election campaign, where he liked to sing or pick up a guitar. At a young age he played in several bands. He has the right song to hand for every situation in life, including heartache (“Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis). He doesn’t need the song right now, he recently announced that he wanted to marry a second time – his new partner is an old childhood sweetheart. On election night she stood by his side.

Joined the SPD at the age of 19

Bovenschulte grew up in a village in the district of Hildesheim in a social democratic home. “We started discussing politics early on,” said Bovenschulte in the “Jung & naiv” podcast. He joined the SPD when he was 19 and went to study at the university in Bremen, which was then known as the “red cadre factory”.

A first appearance in the Bremen town hall has been handed down from his student days: together with others, he tried to prevent an honorary doctorate from being awarded to a Mercedes manager. The students were thrown out. In the meantime, Bovenschulte has a different relationship with the car manufacturer – this is the largest private employer in the city.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts