By GEIR MOULSON
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats have secured a big election win in a western state that their conservative rivals have led since 1999. Sunday’s election was the first ballot since Scholz’s national government took office in December. The result means that Social Democrat Anke Rehlinger will become the new governor of Saarland, a region on the French border that is one of Germany’s smallest states. Final results showed the Social Democrats winning 43.5% of the vote, far ahead of the second-place conservatives. Still, it’s not clear that Rehlinger’s success had much to do with an eventful first 100 days for Scholz’s three-party national coalition, which has faced numerous challenges from Russia’s war on Ukraine.