Wants to show what Höcke's intentions mean: Mario Voigt, CDU state chairman in Thuringia (photo from the state party conference in Mühlhausen in November 2023)
Image: dpa

Until recently, hardly anyone knew him. Now Mario Voigt is competing against Höcke in the top TV duel. Who is the man taking on the AfD in Thuringia?

KMario Voigt was recently on Markus Lanz's talk show. The Thuringian CDU parliamentary group leader and top candidate for the state elections was hardly able to shine. Lanz tormented him with the question of what he meant when he said that three quarters of Thuringians were tired of being the extended arm of the USA. Voigt wandered around. Voigt was unable to explain how he will manage to win a majority in September if he relies on a German coalition with the weak Thuringian SPD and the even weaker FDP.

Markus Wehner

Political correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia based in Erfurt.

Nevertheless, the performance was a success for Voigt. Until now, the 47-year-old politician was hardly known nationwide. Even in Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, Björn Höcke and Thomas Kemmerich are ahead of him. But now he is in the headlines. Because this Thursday evening, Voigt will do something that no CDU politician has ever done before him. He discussed in a television duel with Höcke, the most radical politician in the AfD.