Germany's only state governor from the environmentalist Greens has been elected to a second term at the head of a new coalition, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives as his junior partners.

The alliance in the prosperous southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg marks the first time that Merkel's Christian Democrats — who dominated the region for decades until losing power there in 2011 — have served as junior partners anywhere to the traditionally smaller Greens.

It follows a March election in which the Greens polled more than 30 percent, overtaking the Christian Democrats, but governor Winfried Kretschmann's previous center-left coalition lost its majority.

Though his party leans leftward, Kretschmann has a reassuringly conservative image that plays well with many voters.

The state legislature Thursday elected Kretschmann to a new five-year term.