2 German state governors want to be center-right candidate

BERLIN (AP) — Two German state governors have declared their willingness to become the center-right candidate for the country’s Sept. 26 national election. German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t seeking a fifth term after 16 years in power. Her center-right Union bloc has to choose its candidate between the two state governors, Armin Laschet and Markus Soeder. Both candidates said Sunday that they are ready to run. Laschet is the governor of Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia, who won the leadership of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, or CDU, in January. He hopes to succeed Merkel as chancellor as does Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, who is the head of the CDU’s Bavaria-only sister party CSU.