• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Candidates in the portrait: Ralf Hofmann


May 27, 2023

At first, he considered having the talk at sachs stadium. "I practically got rough there."To this day, ralf hofmann can hardly manage to walk past a soccer field where a game is being played – regardless of the league – without wanting to be there. "Fubball in the stadium is something wonderful for me."But then he decides to spend some time in the garden of his house on the high field, a green refuge with two or three rough trees, a corner for herbs and a corner for vegetables.

Ralf hofmann has been sub-district chairman of the schweinfurt/kitzingen SPD since march, his area of responsibility thus coinciding with the schweinfurt constituency in which he is running as a direct candidate for the bundestag. As managing director of the event agency blues agency, he is an entrepreneur and therefore not necessarily the typical mandate holder of the SPD. He doesn't even try to suggest that he has a social democratic pedigree. "I know a lot of people think of me as a right-winger, but i'm far too undogmatic for that," he says. And: "politics is a task, not a profession."

Politically, however, he has always been. As an activist of the free schweinfurt cultural scene, in the carpenter's workshop, in the culture pack. And in 1996, at 29, he was the youngest member of the schweinfurt city council. When he moved to leipzig in 2000 for ten years, there was not much that kept him in local politics with the same SPD players and rituals. "I didn't have the energy to do anything about it. Today, i don't mind so much," says ralf hofmann. In the meantime, he has become so interested in politics again, in the struggle for positions, that he, the pragmatist, even works on the party's program commission. For example, he says, the SPD has the most conclusive pension concept in the world. "But we have to ask ourselves with whom we conducted our debates. In the back room with ourselves or with the people outside? We are still too reticent and shy away from going into battle in the pre-political arena, at the table, in the club."

In terms of content, ralf hofmann is by no means an SPD rebel. He sees himself as a representative of employees' interests, he wants real equality of opportunity in education, he wants to bring disadvantaged people "into the economy. Three quarters of all engineers today were trained in russia, india and china. He sees the key to meaningful (federal) politics in the local level: "it can only be done through the municipalities, that is the people's direct field of experience. Here you can see if administration is fair. When the municipalities become incapable of action, it becomes dangerous."With regard to topics such as the expansion of the broadband network, kindergarten places or all-day school, this also means for him: "whoever buys, also pays."

With his wife stephanie haverkamp and their two daughters jana (12) and emma (6), he has agreed that until september, the election campaign will take priority. Ralf hofmann is constantly on the road. The 6'2" man in the white shirt is hard to miss. He shows up at wine festivals, at lectures, drives and discussions, at the handover of a new fire engine, at the breaking of the fast in the ditib mosque and in the local associations. Florian topper may serve as an example here. The new district administrator won the election not least because he succeeded in mobilizing his own people.

"I go everywhere I'm invited," he says. "And when i'm there, i'm there, i don't hop from appointment to appointment."Then he talks to the people, tries to make them understand what he could do for them as a deputy. The other day, a family poured out its heart to him. "They just wanted to tell me about their problems, without having any great hope that i could make a difference."He then called a few "sympathizers", including at the chamber of industry and commerce, and the next day he had a paper on the table with a series of proposed solutions for the family.

He obviously enjoys it when his networks work, even if he doesn't know how this case finally turned out. Building and maintaining networks, leading and motivating teams, defining and assigning tasks – he learned all of this on the job, and he can also implement all of this as a member of parliament.

"I'm willing to make decisions, but i'm also willing to admit mistakes. When you move a lot and make a lot of decisions, you don't always do everything right."He also claims this right for the party when it comes to the agenda 2010: "the SPD will not be able to afford a second censorship like the agenda 2010. But it's dishonest not to concede to a 150-year-old institution to say, crap, we made a mistake."

He estimates his chance of entering the bundestag as not very great, he says. But he also mentions that he senses a certain nervousness in the opposing camp. Hofmann has also not forgotten the poisoned praise of schweinfurt CSU leader stefan funk for anja weisgerber, michael glos' preferred successor, back in september, when the city CSU sent an opposing candidate, stefanie stockinger, to the nomination meeting. A decision, says funk, that is "recognition of weisgerber's good, hard-working work in european politics".

Ralf Hofmann

Born in werneck in 1967, ralf hofmann spent his first two and a half years in mainberg. After graduating from the alexander-von-humboldt-gymnasium in schweinfurt and doing his community service at the leopoldina hospital, he worked for five years in the self-governing culture house "die schreinerei".

During the season of the 1. FC schweinfurt 05 in the second federal league 1990/91 he was in charge of the organization of the matches. He soon began building up his own company, the blues agency, which he joined as a partner in 1993 and which organized the first honky tonk pub festival in the same year. Today there are about 45 honky tonks a year in germany, austria and switzerland.

In 1996, hofmann became the SPD's youngest city councilor in schweinfurt. 2000 he went with the agency to leipzig. In 2010 he returned to schweinfurt for private and professional reasons, the blues agency has since been based in schweinfurt and leipzig, where co-managing director dominik brahler is based. In march 2013, ralf hofmann succeeded florian topper as sub-district chairman of the SPD.


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