By Vincent Bartoo
The race to succeed Eldoret North MP William Ruto at constituency level has gathered momentum with his allies among the frontrunners.
Although the MP has declared he would not impose a successor, indications show he will still have control of the larger constituency.
Ruto’s expansive constituency was split into two, Soy and Turbo, during the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) delimitation process.
His long serving campaign manager and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Chairman Isaac Maiyo leads the pack of possible successors.
Mr Maiyo will be gunning for the Turbo constituency alongside Eldoret Mayor William Rono, fellow Councillor Elisha Buseinei, an agricultural officer Janet Rotich, Knut official Kipchumba Arusei and Jackson Limo.
Ruto’s other close ally, Caleb Kositany, will be going for the Soy Constituency seat alongside Ruto’s former ally Hezekiah Kosgey, who is Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and TNA’s point man in Uasin Gishu.
Jonathan Bii of Kanu, who tried to unseat Ruto in 2002, will also be in the race for Soy.
Apart from The National Alliance and Kanu aspirants, the other contenders have expressed interest to vie for the seats on Ruto’s United Republican Party tickets.
“Filling Ruto’s shoes will require that the aspirants do not only ride on his name, but on what they will do for the locals,” said political analyst and lecturer Philip Chebunet.
Maiyo told The Standard yesterday: “He is a no-nonsense leader and works extremely smart. Those are the qualities I learned from him and which I want to carry on when I succeed him,” he said.
MPs allied to Ruto did not wish to be drawn into discussing his succession, but some said aspirants have a daunting task ahead.
Kositany told The Standard recently that he was aware of the constituency he would be inheriting if elected and was equal to the task.
“I can tell you for sure that we will carry on the good work Ruto started in 1997,” he said.
Ruto has served as Eldoret North MP for three terms.