BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party is aiming to unseat the incumbent center-left governor in Lower Saxony for a fourth straight victory in state elections this year.
Sunday's vote in the northern state was called after the ruling coalition between Social Democrats and Greens lost its one-seat majority in July.
Merkel's Christian Democrats were slightly behind in recent polls, a fact attributed partly to local party leader Bernd Althusmann's low profile compared to that of governor Stephan Weil.
About 6.1 million voters are called upon to vote in Lower Saxony, which has a large agriculture industry but is also home to German automaker Volkswagen.
Merkel's center-right party came out top in last month's national election, but formal talks on forming a coalition were put on hold until after Lower Saxony's vote.