State election in North Rhine-Westphalia:
Hückelhovener dares the second attempt for the FDP
Hueckelhoven The FDP politician would like to surpass the result of the election ten years ago, but he also wants to help his party colleagues in his election campaign. Pakusa focuses on education and mobility.
Ten years ago he ran for the Free Democrats. This year, Tino Pakusa is again trying to be a direct FDP candidate in the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on 15th May. At the time, says the native of Heinsberg, who grew up in Hückelhoven, everything had to happen very quickly. After the dissolution of the state parliament in mid-March after the failed budget bill, two months later elections were again held. That’s why he now looks forward to being able to experience a full election campaign and engage in more conversations with the people of the Heinsberg district in the days and weeks leading up to the election.
The 43-year-old is mainly pursuing two goals for the upcoming elections. The first thing to do is get a good second voting result. Because Stefan Lenzen, FDP candidate in the southern district and represented in the Land parliament since 2017, occupies 22nd place on the Land list of free democrats. This means that if the FDP performs as well as it did five years ago, it has a good chance of re-entering the state parliament. However, Pakusa also set a goal. “I want to do better than ten years ago,” he says. At that time, the Hückelhovener got four percent of the first votes.
For the 43-year-old, who works in Wegberg as a state-certified business economist, it is just as important as a good result to work for the people of the region and to advance the issues that he deems important. For example, Pakusa, who is engaged to a man, would like to do more to fight homophobia. Moreover, the oft-quoted phrase “promotion through education” is more than just an empty word to him. Because Pakusa walked this path himself, continued his studies for three and a half years alongside his work. So he knows that this path can sometimes be difficult, but also that it is worth it.
The times were definitely formative for him, he had long days and had to travel long distances. Which also brings Pakusa to another topic close to his heart: the expansion and improvement of local public transport. “I know how it is with mobility in the neighborhood. Because at that time I didn’t have a car myself and depended on buses and trains,” says Pakusa. It was not always a pleasure, especially in rural areas. He recommends better synchronization of the different lines in order to minimize waiting times due to delays. On-call buses are also a good option.
Unlike other candidates, Tino Pakusa only appears on a few neighborhood posters. They even considered doing without election posters altogether, but they wanted to show some presence. Otherwise, the 43-year-old, who comes from a family of miners, is out with a few information stands in a circle, and he also wants to capture the votes on social networks. He is happy to have found his political home with the FDP. In the meantime, he was with the Greens for a short time, where he focused on queer politics. But the perspectives on other topics were too different.