The outgoing Homa Bay Woman Rep becomes the first-ever female governor in the Nyanza region and by extension Western.
Gladys Wanga has won the hotly contested Homa Bay governor’s seat.
It was a tight race between the MP and former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero with early provisional results putting the latter in the lead.
After hours of laborious tallying marred with delays, Wanga was catapulted to the top clinching the county top seat with 244,559 votes against Kidero’s 154,182.
The ODM party candidate who had been endorsed by party leader and Azimio presidential candidate Raila had exuded confidence in winning owing to the vigorous campaigns she had mounted in the county.
Wanga, 41, who will go down in history as the youngest female governor, said she would use devolved resources to improve the lives of the people and develop the county.
“As a younger person, I believe I have an opportunity to create a legacy, not one that I leave but one that I live, in the sense that when I do wrong, I live so many years to see the wrong, and when I do right, I live to see the good I would have done,” she said.
This is not the first time she has beaten the odds in male-dominated fields. She was the first woman ODM chairperson in Homa Bay and also the first to head the powerful National Assembly Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
The Kenyatta University alumnus was inspired by her dad, a former councillor and chairman of the now-defunct Kisumu County Council to join politics.
She says she got involved in politics at the early age of five when she would help in distributing ‘salt’ to villagers during her father’s election campaigns. She would also accompany her father to political functions and meetings.
Her brother, is also a politician, a member of the Kisumu county assembly and chairs the Committee on Implementation.
The governor-elect who is married with two children is eager to assume office and fulfil campaign promises.