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Anti-euro group eyes new gains in German state votes, Merkel party faces challenge to governor

  • Bodo Ramelow, top candidate of German party 'Die Linke' (The Left) for the parliament elections in Thuringia  state listens to inhabitants  during an election campaign   in Erfurt,  Germany, Friday, Sept.12, 2014. A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall fell, an election this weekend may show whether Germany is ready for its first state governor from the party descended from East Germany’s communist rulers. The opposition Left Party hopes to end the 24-year grip of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on the governor’s office in eastern Thuringia state Sunday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Bodo Ramelow, top candidate of German party 'Die Linke' (The Left) for the parliament elections in Thuringia state listens to inhabitants during an election campaign in Erfurt, Germany, Friday, Sept.12, 2014. A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall fell, an election this weekend may show whether Germany is ready for its first state governor from the party descended from East Germany’s communist rulers. The opposition Left Party hopes to end the 24-year grip of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on the governor’s office in eastern Thuringia state Sunday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bodo Ramelow, top candidate of German party 'Die Linke' (The Left) for the parliament elections in Thuringia  state delivers a speech behind a red Karl Marx bust during an election campaign   in Erfurt,  Germany, Friday, Sept.12, 2014. A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall fell, an election this weekend may show whether Germany is ready for its first state governor from the party descended from East Germany’s communist rulers. The opposition Left Party hopes to end the 24-year grip of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on the governor’s office in eastern Thuringia state Sunday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Bodo Ramelow, top candidate of German party 'Die Linke' (The Left) for the parliament elections in Thuringia state delivers a speech behind a red Karl Marx bust during an election campaign in Erfurt, Germany, Friday, Sept.12, 2014. A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall fell, an election this weekend may show whether Germany is ready for its first state governor from the party descended from East Germany’s communist rulers. The opposition Left Party hopes to end the 24-year grip of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on the governor’s office in eastern Thuringia state Sunday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thuringia governor and top candidate of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party, Christine Lieberknecht, casts her vote during regional state elections in Ramsla, eastern Germany, Sunday Sept. 14, 2014.  In Thuringia, polls show Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives could face a threat to their 24-year hold on the governor's office from a three-way alliance led by the Left Party, which has ex-communist roots. (AP Photo/dpa, Candy Welz)

    Thuringia governor and top candidate of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party, Christine Lieberknecht, casts her vote during regional state elections in Ramsla, eastern Germany, Sunday Sept. 14, 2014. In Thuringia, polls show Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives could face a threat to their 24-year hold on the governor's office from a three-way alliance led by the Left Party, which has ex-communist roots. (AP Photo/dpa, Candy Welz)  (The Associated Press)

Elections in two German regions are expected to bring further success for an upstart anti-euro group and could bring the country its first state governor from an ex-communist party.

The new Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party won its first seats in a state legislature last month. Polls indicate it will repeat that success Sunday in Thuringia and Brandenburg, two eastern states. AfD advocates ending the euro in its current form but also has appealed to protest voters with tough talk on crime and immigration.

Other parties say they won't govern with AfD. In Thuringia, however, polls show Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives could face a threat to their 24-year hold on the governor's office from a three-way alliance led by the Left Party, which has ex-communist roots.