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Gay Mayor of Berlin Elected to Third Term

Gay Mayor of Berlin Elected to Third Term


Klaus Wowereit, the openly gay mayor of Berlin, won a third term on Sunday in a convincing victory that makes some believe he could be the Social Democratic Party's candidate for German chancellor in 2013.

According to Spiegel Online, Wowereit secured a third five-year term while his party won 28.3% of the vote and held off the resurgent Green Party, which took 17.6% of the vote.

Wowereit, 57, won reelection despite the fact that Berlin struggles with high debt, unemployment, and an influx of tourists seeking the city's famous cultural and nightlife scenes. Analysts attribute his ballot box success to his personal popularity, which seemed assured in 2001 when he came out at a party conference prior to his election by declaring, "I'm gay, and that's a good thing."

"Wowereit may have done little for public services, but he is credited with helping to turn Berlin into one of Europe's top cultural hubs over the last decade, and never misses an opportunity to attract movie makers to the city," reports Spiegel Online. "He came up with the city's famous 'poor but sexy' tag, gained a reputation for being something of a party animal and once famously welcomed rubber-clad fetishists to Berlin."

One of a handful of openly gay mayors to have served in European cities, Wowereit currently shares the distinction with Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe.

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