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Governor Cheboi fights for political survival in two-horse race against Stanley Kiptis

By Gideon Kiprop | January 29th 2017
Following the withdrawal of Betting boss Simon Chelugui from the Baringo gubernatorial race, the contest has since taken a new twist.

The race for the seat has boiled down to a two-horse race between the incumbent, Benjamin Cheboi and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Eldama Ravine Executive Secretary Stanley Kiptis.

Governor Cheboi will be forced to go back to the drawing board, as he fights for political survival, in a bid to arrest Kiptis' growing influence in the region.

Initially, Chelugui and Kiptis had emerged as Cheboi’s formidable opponents but according to analysts the gamble by Chelugui became a blessing in disguise for Kiptis.

Supporters of Mr. Chelugui who had been at the forefront championing for the ouster of Cheboi protested the move by Chelugui to abandon his bid, viewing it as a move that gave the incumbent undue advantage, in protest they are said to be warming up to Kiptis' camp as a compromise candidate.
Interestingly, Mr. Chelugui was the running mate of Mr. Kiptis in the last General Election.

Kiptis had vied for the gubernatorial seat on a Kanu ticket in the 2013 general election but came second after losing to Cheboi.

However, in this year's polls, both Cheboi and Kiptis will be competing to clinch the Jubilee ticket. The duo also hails from the dominant Arror sub-tribe, a major determinant in Baringo politics.

A man blessed with a sharp tongue and ability to mingle with youth, Kiptis has in the past said if elected his priority areas would be human development, health, and education.
He enjoys intensive support from youths who cite disappointment with Cheboi's administration.

Kiptis points out that having served for many years in the District Development Committee, he is well-versed with the issues affecting the people at the grassroots.

Governor Cheboi on the hand is banking on the power of incumbency and support from the Arror clan inhabiting the Northern and Central part of the vast county.
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