Kai Wegner is a German politician affiliated with the Christian Democratic Union, assumed the role of Governing Mayor of Berlin in April 2023. Prior to his mayoral position, he had a noteworthy tenure as a member of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, spanning from 2005 to 2021. In 2019, Wegner took on the role of chairman for the CDU in Berlin.
Age- 51 years
Born-5 September 1972
Birthplace-Spandau, Berlin, Germany
Profession-Politician, Governing Mayor of Berlin
Party- Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Previous offices-Member of the German Bundestag (2017–2021), Member of the German Bundestag (2009–2017)
Office-Governing Mayor of Berlin since 2023
Wegner was raised in Berlin-Spandau, coming from a background where his father worked in construction and his mother was employed as a retail clerk. Unfortunately, specific details about the names of his parents are not available.
Wegner was previously married to Ina, and their marriage ended in 2015 after eleven years, resulting in the separation. Following the divorce, Wegner entered into a relationship with Kathleen Kantar. On December 29, 2023, Wegner made a public announcement about his separation from Kathleen Kantar, his partner of seven years. Wegner and Kantar share two children, Lena and Justus.
After attending Hans Carossa High School on Streitstrasse in Berlin-Hakenfelde (now located in Berlin-Kladow), Wegner, who left without a high school diploma, served in the Air Force from 1993 to 1994 as part of his military service in the Bundeswehr. Subsequently, he underwent training as an insurance salesman, successfully completing the program in 1997. Following this, Wegner entered the sales sector with an insurance company before transitioning to a medium-sized construction company in 1999, where he assumed the role of project manager in public relations. Notably, he was also part of the management team there from 2001 to 2002.
Between 2002 and 2012, Wegner operated as a self-employed management consultant in Berlin. His involvement extended to serving as the honorary president of the DLRG Berlin regional association from 2017 to 2020.
Wegner’s political journey began in 1989 when he joined both the Junge Union (JU) and the CDU. His active involvement includes serving as the state chairman of the student union in Berlin from 1990 to 1992 and as the chairman of the Berlin-Spandau JU district association from 1994 to 1997. After assuming the role of deputy JU state chairman from 1994 to 1996, Wegner eventually became the state chairman of the JU Berlin from January 2000 to May 2003.
In addition to his roles in the JU, Wegner served as the deputy CDU state chairman in Berlin from 2000 to 2002. In April 2005, he was elected chairman of the CDU district association in Spandau, a position he held after serving as the deputy district chairman since 1998. From December 2011 to December 2016, Wegner took on the role of General Secretary of the CDU Berlin, but he unexpectedly resigned to facilitate Monika Grütters’ desire for change. His successor was Stefan Evers.
Wegner resumed his political activities in December 2017 as the deputy state chairman of the Berlin CDU, later announcing his candidacy for the state chairmanship in March 2019. On May 18, 2019, he was elected state chairman, succeeding Monika Grütters.
In October 2020, Wegner expressed his intention to run for the office of Governing Mayor of Berlin in the 2021 House of Representatives election. He was officially nominated and confirmed as the top candidate on June 19, 2021. In the subsequent election, the CDU secured the third-place with 18.0 percent behind the SPD and the Greens, prompting Wegner to lead the CDU parliamentary group as the opposition leader against the red-green-red Senate led by Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey.
In the repeat election on February 12, 2023, Wegner led the CDU to become the strongest force in Berlin for the first time in 24 years with 28.2 percent. In September 2023, Wegner was re-elected chairman of the Berlin CDU regional association with 94.7 percent of the delegate votes.
Governing Mayor of Berlin
The 2023 election ultimately resulted in the formation of a coalition agreement between the CDU and SPD. Subsequently, on April 27, 2023, Wegner secured the position of Governing Mayor as elected by the Berlin House of Representatives. However, it took until the third round of voting for him to attain the necessary majority. In this decisive round, Wegner garnered 86 votes, precisely matching the number of MPs from the black-red coalition.
Mario Czaja, a member of the Berlin House of Representatives for the CDU at the time, raised concerns about Kai Wegner’s political direction in May 2021. Accusing Wegner of steering towards a “risky right-wing course,” Czaja noted ideological similarities between Wegner and Hans-Georg Maaßen. This observation stemmed from Wegner’s response when asked about Maaßen’s potential membership in the Berlin CDU, where Wegner suggested that Maaßen could indeed join the party. Czaja explicitly stated, “In my view, Kai Wegner is closer to the positions of Hans-Georg Maaßen than to those of Angela Merkel.”
In January 2023, during the election campaign, Wegner called for Maaßen’s expulsion from the party. Investigations by Vice journalists Felix Dachsel and Robert Hofmann revealed that Wegner, alongside other Union officials, was identified as a contact in confidential documents from the regime-affiliated lobby organization, The European Azerbaijan Society, during the Azerbaijan affair in 2021.
Wegner faced criticism after the New Year’s Eve 2022 riots when he demanded information from the Berlin Senate, representing the CDU parliamentary group, about the first names of German suspects. The red-red-green government coalition accused Wegner of racism, alleging that he refused to recognize individuals with a migration background as true Germans. Wegner, however, denied the accusation, asserting that addressing issues requires their explicit acknowledgment.
Despite the controversies, the CDU garnered the most votes among Berlin Muslims in the repeat election to the Berlin House of Representatives on February 12, 2023, although no data was collected on individuals with a migration background.
In May 2023, a donation of 820,000 euros from real estate entrepreneur Christoph Gröner to the Berlin CDU regional association sparked controversy due to conflicting statements about its specific purpose. Gröner mentioned a desire for increased funds for children with disabilities in care facilities, while in an earlier interview, he linked the donation to a change in the Berlin rent cap. Wegner, in a 2021 Jung & Naiv format, stated that the party donation was associated with Gröner’s expressed wish to eliminate homelessness in Berlin. Ultimately, both parties contradicted all prior agreements.
Net Worth 2024
As of 2024, Wegner’s net worth is estimated to be in the range of $1 million to $5 million.
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