The Thuringian state chairmen of the SPD and CDU urgently warn of the consequences of an election of the AfD district administrator candidate in Sonneberg. “A victory for the AfD candidate would be a dam break,” said SPD state chairman Georg Maier to the star. “A right-wing populist district administrator could do a lot of damage, for example by torpedoing refugee aid at the municipal level.” The Democrats must now stick together and grab the AfD where it is most vulnerable: “With their politics, which only knows fears, but no solutions.”

Maier, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior in Thuringia, continued: “The AfD is neither about the district nor about solutions.” It’s all about the symbolic success of an election victory. “In return, she is fueling people’s concerns in an unprecedented battle of material, while she still lacks concrete answers to problems.”

The CDU state chairman Mario Voigt also blames the performance of the federal government for the situation. “We are experiencing an insane escalation of the election campaign,” he told Stern. “It’s now about getting as many people as possible to vote and making it clear to them that they’re voting on their home region and not on the bad government work in Berlin.” The right-wing populists tried “to turn the runoff election into a direction for the whole country,” said Voigt. “The AfD is a bully party that only describes problems but offers no solutions.”

In view of the current poll high for the AfD, national attention is also focused on the runoff election in Sonneberg. In the first ballot, AfD candidate Stuhlmann had achieved 46.7 percent and thus only just missed the absolute majority. CDU candidate K√∂pper received 35.7 percent of the votes. Stuhlmann would be the first AfD district administrator in Germany. In Thuringia, the AfD is classified by the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution as “safe right-wing extremist”.