Who is Armin Laschet?
Mr Laschet, 60, is the current leader of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and premier of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) which is Germany’s most populous state.
He has run the NRW since 2017 and has been the leader since earlier this year.
The CDU leader narrowly beat the Bavarian leader Markus Söder to which the leadership role.
Mr Laschet has struggled to gain traction with voters, particularly in the wake of a gaffe during a flooding engagement earlier this year during which he was caught on camera laughing as the President of Germany made a speech in a town largely destroyed by devastating flooding.
Mr Laschet is a highly religious candidate at a time when more Germans are quitting the Roman Catholic faith.
The CDU leader has emerged as a traditional right-wing politician, as opposed to a Ms Merkel centrist.