Former senators Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), Hassan Omar (Mombasa) and Dr Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) were in Msambweni last Friday and promised to drum up support for him “to win against and, silence ODM”.
ODM is fronting former Gombato/Bongwe MCA, Omar Boga to face off with Bader and others in the December 15 mini poll.
Apart from Ruto, Bader, 34, is banking on MPs Khatib Mwashetani and Benjamin Tayari as well as Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya and his deputy Fatuma Achani, to support his campaign.
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Others are Kilifi North MP Owen Baya (Vuguvugu la Mageuzi Pwani leader) and his Malindi counterpart Aisha Jumwa.
Suleiman Dori died in March and was until his death, Coast Parliamentary Group (CPD) chairman.
He had troubled relations with ODM and was nearly expelled from the party for associating with the DP.
“I was once in ODM but decided to run as an independent candidate because I did not have confidence in the party’s nomination process,” Bader said in a recent interview at Diani in Msambweni.
Msambweni has 68,621 registered; Ukunda ward where Bader comes from has 21,500 votes, Gombato/Bongwe where Boga was MCA until 2017 has 17,538 votes, Kinondo has 11,014 votes and Ramisi 18,569 votes.
In 2017, Boga ran as an independent and got 10,725 votes against Dori’s 22,364, Bashir had 5,656 votes while former Msambweni MP Marere Wamwachai got 3,354 votes.
Contenders are expected to present their nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tomorrow.
Yusuf Mohamed Abubakar has been appointed the returning officer to oversee the by-election shaping up into a two-horse race between Boga and Bader.
Other aspirants include Ms Sharlet Miriam Akinyi (independent), Abdulrahman of Wiper Democratic Movement, Ms Marere Wamwachai of National Vision Party and Dr Mohamed Mwakahonje of United Green Movement Party.
ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna and Director of Elections Junet Mohamed have since fronted Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho as the leader of their campaigns for the poll.