Battle of the bigwigs in Homa Bay, top ODM luminaries contesting for governor

Battle for Homa Bay gubernatorial seat attracts a crowd of high profile politicians, who are the aspirants making the election highly contentious?

Homa Bay gubernatorial hopefuls: Galdys Wanga, Evans Kidero, John Mbadi and Oyugi Magwanga

The voters in Homa Bay County are this General Election, spoilt for choice as top politicians from the region battle it out to become the next governor.

It’s a race propped on a big stage and through elder endorsements and flashy campaigns, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) heavy-weights are willing to do what it takes to emerge first.

Choosing a party candidate among nine interested aspirants for ODM will prove to be a delicate and possibly tricky affair for the most popular political party in the region.

All seasoned politicians: a trade unionist, an information and communication technologist, and renowned businessmen, here are aspirants angling for the Homa Bay county gubernatorial seat.

She is the current Homa Bay County Woman Representative. A position she has held since 2013.

Wanga declared her bid on February 13, at an Azimio La Umoja rally. She promised to revolutionise devolution in the county and foster regional economic growth by focusing on three key areas: agriculture, infrastructure development, and job creation.

A poll conducted by Consortium of Researchers on Governance Africa (CORG) ranked her second with 20.4% of respondents saying they'd vote her in as governor.

Joseph Oyugi is a former MP for Kasipul Kabondo constituency.

Magwanga unsuccessfully ran for Homa Bay governorship in the August 8, 2017 election but lost to the incumbent Cyprian Awiti, who defended his seat and won.

On this second endeavor, he seems to be in the lead with 23.6% according to the poll by CORG.

Political observers in Homa Bay attribute the lead to his supporters believing he lost unfairly in the last elections.

Dr Kidero is a former Nairobi County governor and has expressed confidence in clinching the Homa Bay seat based on his prior election in Nairobi.

After eyebrows were raised over him not having helped the Homa Bay residents in the past, he dismissed the claims and revealed he was to vie for the Homa Bay gubernatorial seat In 2013 but shelved the ambition for Nairobi.

Mbadi is the current MP for Suba South constituency and chairperson of ODM.

The lawmaker who is a front runner in this battle, has deemed his candidature as a higher calling. He is ranked fifth favourite by CORG pollsters with a 10.5% score .

He served as Homa Bay County Secretary and Head of Civil Service, Isaiah Ogwe before quitting to vie for the gubernatorial seat.

According to the CORG poll, he ranks as the third favourite with 20.1% score.

Orata is the deputy governor for Homa Bay county. He will be looking to succeed his boss Cyprian Awiti.

He believes he already has knowledge and experience on how to implement devolution in a better way after serving the position for nine years.

Also in the race are Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary-general Akello Misori, Homa Bay businessman Sam Wakiag, Finance CEC Nicholas Koriko, Louis Otieno Ogingo, Cosmas Kanyadudi, and Jared Otieno Kiasa.

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