AThe day after the election, Wolf Matthias Mang is concerned. “Of course I would have liked better results for parties with more business-friendly programs,” says the President of the Association of Hessian Entrepreneurs’ Associations (VhU). After all, the economy should not be slowed down by “more regulation and higher taxes. “We can and must rely on the forces of the market.” The umbrella association of the Hessian Chamber of Commerce argues in a similar way: “The companies must now not be subjected to any political endurance test. You need entrepreneurial freedom, not regulatory tightness, ”warns Eberhard Flammer, President of the Hessian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in view of the election results on Sunday.
The business representatives among the future MPs are likely to find more understanding for the concerns of the companies than expected. Because a number of politicians from Rhein-Main, who will now move into the Bundestag, come from the economy themselves. If you look at the biographies of the elected, you will discover several lawyers, self-employed, managers and economists who will represent the interests of the region in the future parliamentary groups.
Several former bankers
Eight of the 15 electoral district winners in the Rhine-Main region (South Hesse and Mainz) have an economic background, and another seven politicians with an economic past move into the Bundestag via the state lists. And not only for the FDP or CDU, which are generally considered to be close to business, the Greens and AfD will also be able to send economic experts to Berlin. Most of them, however, will in future belong to the SPD parliamentary group.
One example is the newcomer to the Bundestag Armand Zorn, who won the Frankfurt constituency 182 for the SPD. Born in Cameroon, he studied economics in Germany, China, France and Italy and has advised companies on digital transformation for the past six years. According to his own statements, he is currently a project manager in economic development aid.
Social Democrat Melanie Wegling will represent the neighboring constituency 184 (Groß-Gerau) in future. “As the daughter of a family of craftsmen, I know how to lend a hand,” she advertises. The sinologist is currently a sales manager at a water filter manufacturer. The 27-year-old Social Democrat Lennard Oehl from Hanau is currently a financial analyst in Frankfurt.
Another financial expert, albeit a member of the FDP, is Bettina Stark-Watzinger from Bad Soden. The top candidate of the Hessian Liberals had initially worked for banks in Frankfurt and later in London, from 2008 she ran the business of Safe, an economic institute for financial market research, until she moved into the Bundestag in 2017. Her party friends Alexander Müller (Rheingau-Taunus) and Till Mansmann (Bergstrasse) come from the software industry, Müller is a self-employed developer, Mansmann once founded a company for software services, but later worked as a specialist editor for tax topics.
For the Union, the former Fraport manager Klaus-Peter Willsch, winner of the constituency in the Rheingau-Taunus, and Patricia Lips, a commercial specialist from the Offenbach district, are moving into the Bundestag via the state list. Lips is also Deputy Federal Chairwoman of the CDU-affiliated SME and Economic Union. On the other hand, the previous CDU member of the Frankfurt CDU and management consultant Bettina Wiesmann did not make it.
Seven current and former lawyers
The independent lawyers from the region could set up their own cross-party parliamentary group: The social democrats Bettina Müller (constituency Main-Kinzig-Wetterau) and Kameh Mansoori (state list) worked as lawyers. As expected, several lawyers can also be found among the Christian Democrats and the Free Democrats. Ingmar Jung (CDU) from Wiesbaden, for example, was a lawyer in Eltville am Rhein before becoming a professional politician in 2010. His party friend Stefan Heck, who moved in via the state list, was a business lawyer in a law firm in Frankfurt, but later also managing director of the copyright management company VG Media for a year.
Competition lawyer Thorsten Lieb from Frankfurt and Wetterau lawyer and criminal defense attorney Peter Heidt move into the Bundestag for the FDP. The top candidate of the Hessian AfD, Mariana Harder-Kühnel, also worked for several years in the Rhine-Main area as an auditor and lawyer.
Economics from Rhein-Main will also be represented in the Bundestag: The social democrat Jens Zimmermann, winner of the direct mandate in the Odenwald district, was, among other things, an economist at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and then a freelance management consultant. The Green politician Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn is also an economist. Before joining the Bundestag in 2008, he conducted research and lectured at the University of Frankfurt. Among other things, he advocates an unconditional basic income.
Little expertise among the Greens and the Left
This means that Strengmann-Kuhn is the only economic expert in his party from the Rhine-Main area – the Greens send a total of nine MPs from all over Hesse to the Bundestag. At least the Hessian Green top candidate Bettina Hoffmann is a former managing director of a PR agency, but she comes from Northern Hesse.
Only the left will not have a representative from the region with an economic biography in the future. The two left-wing MPs from Hesse are not completely economically inexperienced either: The Hessian top candidate and federal party chairman Janine Wissler from Frankfurt headed the economic committee in the state parliament for the past two years.