After exit: Three favorites in the running for Aalborg mayor
For some it came as a shock. For others, it was expected.
Last Tuesday evening, it was revealed that Thomas Kastrup-Larsen is resigning as the mayor of Aalborg after fourteen years.
On the 31st of July, later this year, the social-democratic politician will resign and thus leave the position of mayor to someone else.
Perhaps it wasn’t shocking that Thomas Kastrup-Larsen will not continue after this election period. Even so, it is surprising that he stops with two years left until the next municipal election.
Worn down by media scrutiny
Something might indicate that he has been worn down by the scrutiny of the media throughout the past year and a half, which has resulted in him not recovering entirely after his sick leave.
He went on sick leave due to stress in 2022 but returned only two months later.
Since then, Thomas Kastrup has attempted to catch up, which proved much more challenging.
The line is now drawn in the sand, and Kastrup-Larsen is ready to start a career in business following the summer break.
Here’s the big question: who will be the new mayor of Aalborg?
Let us make it clear from the get-go.
It will not be Mads Duedahl, who is among Aalborg’s most popular politicians and is suddenly stepping down from his position as Chairman of the Regional Council.
No, it is assured to be a profile from the Social-Democrats until the next election in November 2025.
The last time mayors were swapped, Thomas Kastrup-Larsen was the top choice for taking over Henning G. Jensen. It was natural and obvious. That is in no way the case this time.
However, three candidates within the party are perceived as the favourites.
Lasse Frimand Jensen
At first glance, he appears to be the best option to inherit the title of mayor.
He is practically raised to play the part, given that his father is Frank Jensen, a former lord mayor of Copenhagen and former minister.
37-year-old Lasse Frimand has proven himself to be a most competent politician and is incredibly sympathetic and sociable as a mayor should be.
Today, he is Chairman of the Board for Port of Aalborg, which is one of the heavyweight positions in the business life of Northern Jutland.
He is, furthermore, group chairman of the city council and is thus most equipped for taking over and maintaining either an advisory role or the role of mayor itself.
Nuuradiin S. Hussein
As we speak, he is one of the most influential politicians in Aalborg Municipality.
Nuuradiin is a municipal executive for Work and Welfare, and he got second-to-most votes within the Social-Democratic Party during the last municipal election.
Undoubtedly, he can be a competent mayor, and he will surely feel ready to step up that ladder.
At the same time, he presents a most uplifting case with his Somali background, not to mention his hard work as a municipal executive insofar as integration goes.
However, for him to take up the position, the Social Democrats must first agree on whether he might be the right fit.
She is a young and forward-looking politician with a spine of steel.
The Social Democrats have noticed this, most certainly, and have awarded her for it so far. She is a woman who can most assuredly make herself known within Christiansborg.
And so the question becomes whether Lisbeth Lauritsen should go the municipal route of a mayor within Aalborg or whether the party has bigger plans for her.
36-year-old Lisbeth Lauritsen is currently the deputy chairman of city and landscape management, and she thus handles difficult and tough decisions concerning the urban planning of Aalborg.
Many people also view it as an advantage that she is a woman since they think Aalborg would favor a female mayor.
Of course, it’s not a given that any of the three abovementioned politicians will get the coveted title of mayor.
At the moment, Helle Frederiksen is deputy mayor, and she covered for Thomas Kastrup-Larsen last year throughout his two months of sick leave.
She is not guaranteed, however, to have the support from the party that she needs to take up the title of mayor for a longer period.
Another option would be to bring back home one of the social-democratic profiles currently stationed at Christiansborg to take up a local post here in Aalborg.
Flemming Møller Mortensen, a minister during the previous government, might be a top candidate for the next municipal election.
Former Chairman of the Regional Council of Northern Jutland, Ulla Astman, also has the political savvy to take up the title of mayor.
There are options to choose from when the Social Democrats decide who will become Aalborg’s next political figurehead.
Come summer; the choice will be revealed.