Tolgos to face off with Murkomen in Elgeyo-Marakwet senate contest

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 00:00 | By
Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos.

Jeremiah Kiplang’at

Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos yesterday declared that he will run for the  county’s Senate seat in the coming election, setting the stage for a contest with incumbent Kipchumba Murkomen.

In an exclusive interview with People Daily, Tolgos said he had started activating his networks in preparation for a formal launch of the race.

“I will be going for the Senate seat in the next elections,” Tolgos, who is serving his final term as governor, said.

He said he had decided to present himself for election for another seat.

Tolgos is the second governor from the North Rift to launch a bid for Senate after Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu who is also serving his last term.  Mandago declared his interest last month.

The entrance of Tolgos in the race presents a new challenge to Murkomen who has not had a serious challenger for the seat in the last two elections.

In 2017, the senator easily beat former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo. 

The county is mostly inhabited by the Keiyo and Marakwet communities. Both Tolgos (pictured) and Murkomen are Marakwet.

“I am in Azimio. I will vie on the party or any other that fully supports Azimio,” said Tolgos, who was among 30 governors who declared their support for ODM leader Raila Odinga in Naivasha yesterday.

Tolgos had been a Ruto supporter but they fell out after the last election. He won on the ticket of Ruto’s URP in 2013 and moved with him to Jubilee in 2017 where he successfully defended his seat.

It is said frequent attacks by the DP’s allies, who accused him of offering lukewarm support to the second-in-command, had forced him out. 

Initially, he found refuge in Baringo Senator Gideon Moi’s side but has since embraced President Uhuru Kenyatta-Raila camp.

During the quest to pass the Building Bridges Initiative last year, Tolgos was picked by the President and Raila to lead its campaign in the North Rift. He is presently leading the Azimio La Umoja activities in the region with the support of Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui.

“Governor Tolgos might not have a chance in the Senate race especially with Murkomen being one of the UDA luminaries and DP point man in the region. Elgeyo Marakwet county is also a UDA zone.

Simply put, Tolgos might be positioning himself so that ODM will nominate him later,” said Philip Chebunet, a political commentator.

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