Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga has given the clearest indication of who he wants his successor to be come 2022.
Mr Rasanga, while defending ODM against accusations of favouritism, said Siaya Senator James Orengo is his preferred successor.
“Raila had my shoe laces, but now he has released them to me and I will be giving them to James Orengo. While Mr Odinga is up there, we have to organize ourselves down here to avoid wrangling in Mr Odinga’s backyard,” said the county boss on Thursday.
“Let us give the party space to make decisions that I believe Mr Raila Odinga has fought for, for decades. We do not expect disorganisation from within this outfit,” he added.
He was defending a leaked line-up, alleged to be from ODM, that listed preferred candidates for seats including governor and senator. According to the list, Mr Orengo has been touted as the favourite to vie for the governor seat while East Africa Legislative Assembly member Dr Oburu Oginga could be going for the Siaya senatorial seat.
However, he pointed out that it is only fair that everyone in ODM is subjected to a free, fair and credible nomination process.
“In any political contest there will always be these line-ups, you cannot avoid them. But they must be healthy...so long as the elections are free and fair,” said the county boss.
Mr Rasanga, 64, is seeking to dislodge first-time MP Samuel Atandi from the Alego Usonga parliamentary seat come 2022.
“While the announcement will be made officially at a later date, I would like to tell my supporters that my heart is in the Alego Usonga seat. Who says that one cannot go a step back and go for a smaller seat?” he said amid ululations from his supporters.
His sentiments come just days after the said secret 2022 elections line-up emerged, causing jitters among party aspirants.
It also comes a week after Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi withdrew from the governor race after consulting the party.
He was speaking at his Segere home in Alego Usonga constituency where he, together with the sub-county officials, welcomed to 210 defectors from Wiper and independent outfits to ODM.