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Dane becomes 1st foreign mayor of a large German city

BERLIN (AP) — A Danish businessman has been elected mayor of Rostock, becoming the first non-German citizen to head a large city in Germany. Officials announced late Sunday that 46-year-old Claus Ruhe Madsen received 57.1% in a runoff vote against Left party candidate Steffen Bockhahn.

Ruhe Madsen isn't affiliated with a political party but had the support of the center-right Christian Democrats and pro-business Free Democrats. The northeastern port city has a population of about 210,000 and lies across the Baltic Sea from Denmark.

Until his election, the big-bearded Ruhe Madsen ran a chain of furniture stores around Rostock.

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