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North Rift attracts the most Jubilee aspirants

DP William Ruto addresses residents during a rally in Wajir town. Photo: DPPS


DP William Ruto addresses residents during a rally in Wajir town. Photo: DPPS

The scramble for the Jubilee Party (JP) ticket for those seeking governor positions will be hotly contested in the North Rift region, with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya areas also drawing crowded fields.

Deputy President William Ruto’s strongholds of Nandi and Uasin Gishu top the country in producing the most Jubilee governor aspirants.

According to the list of aspirants presented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the two counties, alongside Nyandarua, are the most competitive for the plum county jobs.

Nandi has a record nine aspirants — incumbent Cleophas Lagat, former ministers Henry Kosgey and Felix Koskei, incumbent Senator Stephen Sang, Alphonze Misoi, Silas Kipruto, Yulita Mitei, Barnabas Sang and Peter Maiyo.

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Nyandarua is second with seven aspirants, among them Governor Waithaka Mwangi battling to fly the party flag. The others are former head of civil service Francis Kimemia, Kirika Waithaka, Peter Gathimba, Dr Waweru Kanyingi, Senator Muriuki Karue and Moses Kiarie. Laikipia also has seven aspirants, including Ndiritu Muriithi, John Mwaniki, Josphat Kabugi, Governor Joshua Irungu, James Mathenge, Richard Kamau and former PS Thuita Mwangi.

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Ruto’s own county of Uasin Gishu is third nationally in producing the most Jubilee governor candidates — six. They include incumbent Jackson Mandago, businessman Zedekiah Buzeki, Felix Kibet, Charles Kimongin, Edward Serem and Solomon Maritim.

The DP’s county also tops the country in churning out the most aspirants for Jubilee Senate ticket at 14. They include incumbent Isaac Melly, Victoria Kapkiai, Simon Lilan, Philip Biwott, Robert Kamei, Philip Rono, Margaret Kamar, Joseph Langat, Bakari Kemei, Abraham Mutwol, Julius Tuwei, Mararen Meto, David Sawe and Alex Rop.

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Bomet and Kiambu follow closely with nine Senate candidates each battling for the respective tickets of the two counties.

Once again, Uasin Gishu tops the women representative list with 13 contestants, including Gladys Shollei. Laikipia is second with 10 aspirants while Bomet and Elgeyo Marakwet tie with eight aspirants each.

In a number of places in Central and Rift Valley Jubilee hotbeds, as many as 20 aspirants will battle out for a single MCA ticket.

Biashara ward in Nakuru, Ndenderu in Kiambaa, Kabare in Gichugu and Kapletundo in Sotik have more than 20 aspirants each for the MCA seat.

Others like Longisa in Bomet, Nkaimurunya in Kajiado, Juja, Witeithie, Theta in Kiambu, Mugumo-ini in Murang’a and Inoi in Kirinyaga have upward of 15 candidates each.

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In the MP’s race, Turbo in Uasin Gishu has a record 18 aspirants, Bomet East 15, while Molo has 13. Roysambu has 12, Sigowet/Soin 11 and Keiyo South 12.

In Nairobi, only three candidates were submitted for governor’s seat — Peter Kenneth, Margaret Wanjiru and Mike Sonko. Dennis Waweru, a former hopeful for the governor’s seat, is slated to battle it out with eight other hopefuls for the Dagoretti South parliamentary seat.

In Nairobi Senate seat, another ex-governor hopeful Johnson Sakaja will battle for the party ticket with four other aspirants — Mutinda Kavemba, Badi Ali, Mithamo Muchiri and William Kabera.

In total, Jubilee Party has presented a total of 8,012 aspirants to the electoral agency for nominations.

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