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Humiliating defeat for Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat in Jubilee nominations

Nandi County Governor Cleophas Lagat

There were mixed results from the North Rift region in the Jubilee Party nominations.

Some big names failed to clinch the party ticket as others sailed through with big margins.

On the receiving end was Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat, who lost the race for the Jubilee Party ticket even as his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen cruised to victory.

Mr Lagat was among the first governors to be shown the door in the highly contested Jubilee primaries ahead of the August General Election.

In Nandi County, Senator Stephen Sang pulled a surprise to claim early victory and to also become the first senator to dislodge his governor in the competitive race that attracted seven other candidates.

Mr Sang, a youthful lawyer, made a move after shifting from the senatorial race and focused his energies on the position of the governor that had also attracted seasoned politicians and career civil servants among them former ministers Henry Kosgey, Felix Koskei and the sole female aspirant Yulita Mitei.

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Others were Silas Kipruto, Alphonze Misoi, Barnabas Sang and Peter Maiyo all of whom had staged rigorous campaigns for the party ticket.

As of early afternoon yesterday, Sang was leading with 31,177, Mr Kosgey 13,510, Mr Koskei 9,404 and Governor Lagat was trailing with 7,156 in 66,000 gubernatorial votes that had been counted.

Another youthful lawyer, Kiprotich Cherargei, was commanding the lead in the senatorial race with 19,736 votes while Boniface Tenai, a Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) official had gunnered 8,469, Charles Barchigei 6,868 and David Kemboi 4,480 among others.

Area woman representative Zipporah Kering was trailing with 8,337 votes while a university don, Tecla Tum, was leading with 33,892 votes.

Hotly contested

The governor’s race had been seen as a two-horse race between Sang and Kosgey owing to their last minute support base after the rigorous campaigns.

The political competition between the two leaders played out for the second time after they battled it out in the senatorial race in 2013.

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Sang had also emerged the victor in the 2013 general elections after contesting on a United Republican Party (URP) ticket while Kosgey lost after braving the storm using an ODM ticket.

In Elgeyo Marakwet MPs James Murgor (Keiyo North), William Kisang (Marakwet West), Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East) managed to get the Jubilee ticket while woman representative, Susan Chebet, was beaten in the race won by a new entrant, Jane Chebaibai, while Daniel Rono clinched Keiyo South.

By yesterday afternoon, MPs Alex Kosgey (Emgwen), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Cornelly Serem (Aldai) and Julius Melly (Tinderet) were leading in respective constituencies and were sure of retaining their positions.

Elijah Lagat (Chesumei) and Kirwa Bitok (Mosop) were trailing as newcomers Wilson Kogo and Vincent Tuwei respectively seemed headed to victory. 

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