• Mandago will be completing his second term in the county, home to DP William Ruto whose hustler movement party UDA is likely to dominate the region.
• Except for businessman Buzeki, all nine other governor aspirants say they want to run on the UDA ticket.
Nine aspirants including Soy MP Caleb Kositany are among those who have declared interest in succeeding Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.
Eight are interested in running on the ticket of the UDA Party linked to Deputy President William Ruto.
The ninth, so far, is businessman Bundotich Kiprop, known as Buzeki, who will announce his party by April.
Mandago, of the Jubilee Party, will be completing his second term in the county that is home to DP William Ruto whose hustler movement party UDA is likely to dominate Rift politics.
Kositany is a Ruto ally, as are a number of others.
He is the latest aspirant who said on Thursday he is consulting constituents and other stakeholders and will announce soon.
“The decision to run is already on the cards," he told the Star.
Politician Jonathan Bii, who was a Kanu official but joined the hustlers, is among the entrants. He has already caused ripples in the county and demonstrated he can upset influential people.
Bii hit the ground running to market himself three years ago and none of the other aspirants has covered ground as he has. Analysts say although Bii is not a big name in the region and is not monied, he is the man to watch.
“Bii has made friends all over in the county and no one can ignore him now," Kanu official Paul Kibet said.
Other aspirants include Nairobi executive for Devolution and Public Service Vesca Kangogo who vied in the jubilee primaries in 2013 and came third.
“I will be in the race and this time am better equipped with the managerial skills I have gained in Nairobi," Kangogo said.
She has been working with communities on projects and is also considered a front runner being the only woman in the race. She is well known in the county.
Businessman Charles Kigen who also ran in the 2017 polls through Jubilee and came third in the primaries says he will seek the UDA ticket.
He is an expert in strategic management and a former director at Kenya Industrial Estates. Kigen wants to expand the manufacturing sector to create wealth and jobs.
Buzeki quit the CCM party as secretary-general after CCM boss Isaac Rutto, former Bomet governor, declared support for DP Ruto.
The businessman is at political loggerheads with DP Ruto and said he will stick to his principles and offer his manifesto, rather than be anyone's sycophant.
Other major aspirants who have also announced their interest include Kenya’s envoy to Pakistan Professor Julius Bitok. He will be making a second stab at the job after losing to Mandago in Jubilee primaries in 2013.
Ngenyilel MCA David Sing’oei is interested.
Uasin Gishu Assembly speaker David Kiplagat is yet to confirm his candidature, as is Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno. Chemno is highly respected and would be a strong candidate.
(Edited by V. Graham)