Senators in the North Rift who were said to harbour gubernatorial ambitions have apparently backed off.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, his Nandi counterpart Samson Cherargei and Uasin Gishu’s Margaret Kamar have yet to declare their interest in the top county seats less than a year to the polls.

Murkomen had largely been expected in the race to succeed Governor Alex Tolgos, while Cherargei was expected to face off against Governor Stephen Sang in Nandi.

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The senators are close allies of Deputy President William Ruto. Murkomen has no clear opponent in the Senate race. However, he has kept a low profile and avoided county politics. Instead, he is concentrating on his Senate roles, keeping off the raging debate on Tolgos succession.

“Murkomen has stood firmly with DP Ruto throughout and we will automatically reelect him. Opponents are free to come out and vie, but it will be hard to defeat Murkomen in Elgeyo Marakwet,” political activist John Chemweno said.

Murkomen declined to comment on his political plans. Former Police IG David Kimaiyo is expected to run for senator but has not confirmed it yet.

Cherargei has also gone slow on his plans to vie for governor against Sang. They don’t see eye to eye politically. Cherargei has no kind words for Sang whom he regularly accuses of underperformance.

“We are heading to elections and everyone will be answerable for their deeds. We will have to account for what we did as per the mandate given by the people,” the lawmaker said in Mosoriot.

With less than a year to the polls, no aspirant has declared an interest in the Senate seat held by Cherargei.

Former deputy governor Dominic Biwott is among those said to be planning to vie against Cherargei but he declined to comment.

Murkomen and Cherargei have strong records in the two counties and are strong proponents of UDA, a party on whose ticket Ruto is expected to run for president.

In Uasin Gishu, Senator Kamar, who is also the deputy speaker of the Senate, faces a tough reelection battle due to his political stand. Her decision to take up the position at the Senate at a time when Ruto allies were being removed was seen as a betrayal.

Governor Jackson Mandago has indicated he may run for senator but has yet to confirm the same.

In Trans Nzoia, Senator Michael Mbito will be seeking reelection and so will Samwel Poghisho of West Pokot. The two are not in DP Ruto’s camp. Trans Nzoia is largely cosmopolitan and Ford Kenya has held sway in previous elections. In West Pokot, Kanu has considerable support.



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