The German news agency dpa reported Monday that 46-year-old Claus Ruhe Madsen received 34.6% in the first round of voting for the mayor's post in the northeastern Baltic coast city on Sunday.
His closest challenger, Left party candidate Steffen Bockhahn, received 18.9%.
Ruhe Madsen isn't affiliated with a political party but had the support of the center-right Christian Democrats and pro-business Free Democrats.
The two leading candidates will face a runoff vote on June 16.
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