Kisumu deputy governor Ruth Odinga addressing residents of Kisumu county
Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga has pulled out of the county’s governor race.
While Ruth initially posed a challenge to his boss Jack Ranguma, she decided to quit to concentrate on her brother Raila Oding’s presidential campaigns.
“I am not quitting the race because I am a coward, no. I have never been and will never be. My interest has shifted to Raila’s presidential campaigns, but I’ll be right back,” she said at a press conference on Friday.
Ruth said it is in the interest of her family and for her brother’s sake that she made the decision to hold back her ambitions for the governor’s post for a while.
“Next time, I hope I will come back to the race. But for this crucial elections ahead of us, I want to announce to the public categorically that I am not running for the governor’s seat,” she said.
She dismissed comments on social media that she was a coward, saying she was inspired by hope and faith.
“Hope is an act of confidence. It is not knowing what the result will be, but doing it anyway because there is even the slightest chance of success,” she said.
Ruth said hope helped her after weighing multiple options to step down and be the change people want to see, not knowing how people would react.
Infotrak opinion polls released last Saturday placed her a distant fourth in the governor’s race at three per cent, with Ranguma leading the pack with 58 per cent.
Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o and Dr Hezron MacObewa trailed with 8.7 and 6.3 per cent, respectively.
But Ruth dismissed the polls as skewed, saying, “How do you rate someone who has not even been campaigning?”
Ruth’s exit now leaves the race to be a fight between four men; Ranguma, Prof Nyong’o, MacObewa and Prof Gordon Wayumba.
Currently, she is busy marshaling Orange Women Democrats in Kisumu town to help her campaign for and market Raila as the best bet for the Opposition.
Already, Ruth has established an office in the town that will lead and coordinate regional campaigns for Raila presidency as the countdown to August 8 general election edges closer.
“We want the ODM primaries to end so that everyone redirects his or her energy and resources toward Raila’s presidential campaigns,” she said.
She said preparations were in top gear, adding that as women they will use their vast social networks to market Raila’s presidential bid.