Outspoken Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika has taken a commanding early lead in a tight gubernatorial race between her and the incumbent Lee Kinyanjui, provisional results show.
Ms Kihika was leading with 226,993 votes against Mr Kinyanjui's 78,244 in six constituencies whose results have been announced.
Ms Kihika leads in Bahati (44,004), Njoro (39,230), Subukia (29,111), Molo (28,267), Kuresoi South (46,503) and Kuresoi North (39,878).
Mr Kinyanjui has obtained 18,066 votes in Bahati, Njoro (22,996), Subukia (8,151), Molo (18,605), Kuresoi South (2,666) and Kuresoi North (7,760).
Ms Kihika leads at several polling stations where results have been released.
But the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has not declared official results for the eleven constituencies in the county.
Ms Kihika is seeking to unseat Mr Kinyanjui, who wants a second term on the strength of the flagship projects he initiated in his first term.
Mr Kinyanjui has highlighted the elevation of Nakuru to a city by President Uhuru Kenyatta last December as one of his greatest achievements.
Other projects that he is banking on to win re-election include drilling boreholes in sub-counties, revamping Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centres and hiring at least 600 early-learning teachers.
Mr Kinyanjui promised that he would get Nakuru’s industrial groove back if elected for a second term.
Others seeking to unseat Mr Kinyanjui are Dr Stanley Karanja, economist Elijah Chege, former senator James Mungai and Munyua Waiyaki, who are all independents.
Mr Kinyanjui and Senator Susan Kihika are seen as front-runners in the race for the coveted seat.