Stefan Naas, member of the state parliament, will lead the Hessian FDP in next year's state election campaign.

A party convention in Wetzlar on Saturday elected the forty-nine-year-old as the top candidate with a majority of 92.6 percent.

"I'm a local through and through," he emphasized in his application speech.

Ewald Hetrodt

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung in Wiesbaden.

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He introduced himself to the 300 delegates as "the boy from Steinbacher Schwanengasse".

Naas became mayor of his hometown in the Taunus in 2009 and was confirmed in office in 2015 with more than 87 percent.

"I'll bring grounding," he said.

"I know how it feels when you have to increase property tax or close a daycare center."

But he also opened residential areas for young families.

"I used to run after every grant from the state," said Naas.

But the money from Wiesbaden acts like a golden rein in the municipalities.

However, the cities and communities must be able to decide for themselves what is good for them.

And they have a right to adequate financial resources. "We are not the servants of the state government," says Naas.

The father of a nine-year-old daughter has been a member of Parliament since 2019.

The doctor of law, whose professional career began with an apprenticeship at a bank, primarily takes care of economic issues for his parliamentary group.

As a top candidate, he is aiming for the office of Economics and Transport Minister.

In his speech, he attacked the incumbent Tarek Al-Wazir (The Greens) harshly.

He has "a big ego and a great thirst for power, but a weak balance sheet".

During his tenure, only four kilometers of rails and fewer than 40 kilometers of cycle paths were created.

Together with Frankfurt's mayor, Peter Feldmann (SPD), who has since been voted out, he "expelled" the International Motor Show to Bavaria, according to Naas: "Feldmann has been voted out, but when will Al-Wazir go?" It was high time for that.

Because the current crisis is "not about energy saving tips for Christmas markets, but about strengthening the market economy".

Naas recalled that a speaker from the left-wing faction had described the FDP as "the radical center" in one of the past week's sessions in the state parliament.

This characterization was meant as an insult.

But he takes it as a compliment.

After the state elections next autumn, “it shouldn’t be possible to form a government in the middle without the FDP,” explained Naas.

To do this, you have to achieve more than the 7.5 percent of the votes that you got four years ago.

They were achieved under the leadership of parliamentary group leader René Rock.

He is now running for second place in the state list and received 80.8 percent of the votes on Saturday.

The deputy parliamentary group leader Wiebke Knell took third place.

They equipped the delegates with 90.8 percent.

At the very end of the list, Jörg-Uwe Hahn's name appears again.

This is the traditional place of honor, explained party leader Bettina Stark-Watzinger.

The former justice minister wants to leave parliament after 36 years.