Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, an openly gay man, won a third term on Sunday.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD), of which Wowereit is a member, held on to power during the regional elections in Berlin. However, the party's coalition partner, the socialist Left Party, has been voted out. A likely partner is the Greens.

Wowereit was first elected mayor of Germany's largest city in 2001. He came out gay during a convention of the Berlin SPD. He received thunderous applause when he said: “I'm gay, and that is good the way it is.” The 57-year-old Wowereit has said he came out to thwart the plans of the German tabloids which were already “on the right track.”

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe is also gay and was first elected in 2001.

Wowereit's strong finish has the media speculating that he could succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2013.

“It is easy to underestimate Klaus Wowereit,” the Financial Times Deutschland wrote. “He is often discounted as a mayor who prefers partying to governing … and as a tired state politician without greater ambitions. Yet he has accomplished something that not many SPD politicians can lay claim to: He has managed to attract a majority for the third time in a row. It is now time for the SPD to ask whether Klaus Wowereit might not make a good candidate for chancellor.”

Wowereit and neurosurgeon Jorn Kubicki have been in a relationship since 1993.