With barely three weeks to the party primaries, the major political parties Jubilee and the NASA coalition are bracing themselves for a bruising battle in Taita-Taveta County.
Already serious concerns are being raised over the NASA governor candidature where three strong candidates namely incumbent John Mruttu(ODM) , former Central Bank deputy governor Jacintah Mwatela(ANC)and Granton Samboja (Wiper) are going to battle it out for the seat, a scenario that could pose a headache to the NASA honchos, with some fearing that this could hand Dan Mwazo of Jubilee a narrow win unless a new balance is struck before the August polls.
While the party primaries will be fiercely fought in both NASA and JP, some candidates have been spared the agony of mounting two campaigns; those of primaries and the final polls in August.
Wiper Party led by Kalonzo Musyoka, probably avoiding inter-party competition, has endorsed three candidates who are unopposed for county seats. Granton Samboja(governor),Eng Elijah Mwandoe(senator) and Pricillah Mwangeka(women rep) will not be going for party primaries as they are the sole candidates in Wiper.
Jubilee's Dan Mwazo and Joyce Lay for governor and Women rep respectively will also not be going for the party primaries but will meet their political nemeses at the ballot.
However, while anxiety is mounting over the outcome of the party primaries which will seal the fate of some candidates and raise the political fortunes of others; the issue of which running mates the gubernatorial candidates will pick is generating a lot of anxiety too.
Mruttu, Samboja, Mwatela and Mwazo among other gubernatorial aspirants ,are required to do a serious homework in balancing gender and regional balance in picking their second in command.
It is a known political fact the choice of a running mate could either shore up or diminish a candidate’s political profile.
On the other hand, some of the candidates for the county seats are expected to battle it out for the political party tickets.
Johnes Mwaruma will face off with Richard Tairo for the senate ODM ticket while Hope Sanguli, Rosina Kisochi and Anna Wakesho will face off for the ODM ticket for Women rep seat. Janet Oben and Lydia Haika will fight it out for the JP ticket for the same seat.