The battle for Kisumu governorship has taken a twist after former Governor Jack Ranguma dropped his ambitions to reclaim the seat.
He instead endorsed former Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura for the seat in a surprise move that left his loyalists, who had been hoping that he would challenge Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, stunned.
The development is a major boost for Obura, who has been keen to lure several key figures to his camp.
Speaking at the weekend at his home, Ranguma said he is not keen on the seat anymore and claimed they engaged in talks with other leaders on the best candidate to challenge Nyong’o.
Ranguma, who made a failed bid to retain the seat as an independent candidate, had been contemplating returning to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to make another attempt at the governor seat.
“We have been having discussions among the three of us, Senator Fred Outa, Obura and I, and this is the outcome of those deliberations,” he said.
Ranguma appealed to Outa to back Obura even as he claimed that the former Central MP had the strength and mettle to battle for the ODM ticket.
“My age does not allow me to fight for the seat. I, therefore, leave it to my younger brother Obura. He still has the energy,” he said.
And as political temperatures continue to mount in the lakeside city, Obura is optimistic of having an edge over other opponents.
Others who have shown interest include Nyong’o, Senator Fred Outa, businessman Ochola Kamili and former County Assembly Speaker Onyango Oloo.
Nyong’o got a boost on his reelection bid after Siaya Senator James Orengo said he is the best bet to take the county forward. He lauded his development blueprint.
Nyong’o has also been busy strengthening his grassroots support by completing several projects he initiated as he seeks to convince the region to give him another term in office.
His administration is banking on the transformation he has made in the county to market his bid. The governor has several allies within the ODM circles and the County Assembly.