About 107 parliamentary and county assembly aspirants in Kisii will battle it out for the ODM ticket on Thursday.
The Raila Odinga-led outfit is expected to issue direct tickets to Dagoreti North MP Simba Arati, who is hoping to succeed Governor James Ongwae, Woman Rep Janet Ong’era and Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka, who is eyeing the Senate seat.
At least 16 aspirants are in the race for parliamentary seats. A fierce battle is expected in Bonchari as area MP Pavel Oimeke faces off with US-based businessman Jonah Ondieki.
In Kitutu Chache South, former mayor Samuel Omwando, Dr Andrew Maubi, Jimmy Okangi, Anthony Kibagendi and Eric Osoro are seeking the Orange party ticket. Mr Onyonka was elected on a Ford Kenya ticket in the 2017 elections.
Mr Omwando, Mr Kibagendi and Mr Maubi were in Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party before they decamped. At one point, Mr Omwando was UDA coordinator in Kisii. Mr Kibagendi worked at Ruto’s office as the Youth Secretary and had been leading UDA activities in the area.
Mr Kibagendi claimed he was approached by Mr Raila and Mr Ongwae to join ODM. “They know my potential. I’m ready to represent the party and my people in Parliament,” he said.
In Kitutu Chache North, whoever wins between former Nakuru Kanu branch chairman Geoffrey Asanyo and former Kisii executive John Omwoyo will face the longest-serving MP and current National Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Jimmy Angwenyi of Jubilee Party.
Former Bomachoge Chache MP Simon Ogari is facing businessman and former senior official in the Ministry of Water Jeremiah Matoke, and US-based nurse Job Nyangenya.
Nyaribari Chache will have former MP Chris Bichage and businessman James Kenani.
In Nyaribari Masaba, the only party woman aspirant for a parliamentary seat Risper Maseme faces former the Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku and Laban Chweya.
On Monday, Ms Maseme called for the postponement of the primaries. “The party has conducted opinion polls... The party should employ consensus.”
Denis Makori will not be facing competition for the ODM ticket in South Mugirnago, while four aspirants will battle it out in Bomachoge Borabu.
They are Evans Kimori, Obadiah Barongo, Machuki Nyanumba and Naftal Onderi.
Former Kenya Ports Authority manager Yobesh Oyaro will face Kisii Assembly Deputy Speaker Davins Onuso and entrepreneur Wilkins Michira in the Bobasi race.
The only elected Woman MCA Rosa Orondo will be fighting to retain the ticket against Zebedeo Mboga and Omboga Oichoe.
Assembly Majority Leader Timothy Ogugu will contest against musician Naftal Miggy Migisi, also known as Miggy Champion. Only 18 out of the 45 wards have been spared the primaries.
In the last General Election, ODM won 14 ward seats, but did not win a parliamentary seat.