Cosmas Kipngetich Korir, who won a Sh208 million SportPesa jackpot in 2018, has been elected Speaker of the Bomet County Assembly.
The election helps cool political tempers in Konoin constituency, whose voters claim they were sidelined in the picking of the deputy governor since the onset of devolution in 2013.
Mr Korir garnered 32 votes in the second round of voting, beating former Kipsonoi MCA Cheruiyot Kirui, who received six votes.
In the first round, Mr Korir had 19 votes, while Mr Kirui had 12, and the two were cleared for the second round.
Former deputy governor Stephen Mutai received four votes and former Speaker Nelson Mutai three, knocking him out of the second race.
Dennis Kipkoech Sang, Gilbert Kiplangat Rono, Leonard Ngeny, Kiprotich Bii Samoei received no votes.
Mr Korir vowed to unite members of the county assembly, ensure they play their oversight role on the executive and take development in the county to the next level.
“We have a crop of MCAs capable of developing policies that will guide the development agenda in the county. Bomet County is blessed with immense resources that should be tapped to create employment opportunities, attract investors and spur economic growth,” Mr Korir said.
Governor Hillary Barchok said the executive was keen to work with the legislature to implement development programmes to the benefit of the people.
“Politics and electioneering are now behind us and the people expect both arms of the government – executive and legislature – to work closely together to create opportunities for economic growth and employment,” Prof Barchok said.
He said the executive did not have time for political bickering with the legislature, but will foster a close working relationship for the benefit of residents.
Mr Korir, who hit the news headlines after winning a SportPesa jackpot in October 2018, lost in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party primaries in Konoin constituency to area MP Brighton Yegon.
He had contested the seat in the 2017 elections under Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) but lost to Mr Yegon, who is now serving a second consecutive term.
Regional balancing played a major role in his election as the fifth Speaker of the Bomet assembly in a county that has five constituencies – Bomet East, Bomet Central, Konoin, Sotik and Chepalungu.
Mr Stephen Mutai, the first deputy governor of the county, is from Bomet Central. Prof Barchok, who was the second deputy governor and is now the third governor of the county, is from Bomet East, while current Deputy Governor Shadrack Rotich is from Sotik.
While the first governor, Isaac Ruto (the CCM party leader) is from Chepalungu, his successor, the late Dr Joyce Laboso, was from Sotik.
The first Speaker of the assembly, Kipngetich Korir, is from Konoin, as is former deputy Speaker Wesley Kiprotich.
Outgoing Speaker Nelson Mutai, a Nairobi-based lawyer, comes from Bomet Central.
Bomet Woman Representative Linet Chepkorir Toto is from Bomet East, while Senator Hillary Sigei comes from Chepalungu.