Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki is facing competition from his 2013 campaign manager who is vying on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket.
The senatorial race is turning out to be a two-horse race after the third contestant, Mr Icenga Mugao, failed to gather the 2,000 signatures independent candidates are required to get before they are cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Mr Mugao has since been picked as a running mate by Mr Petkay Miriti, who is vying for governorship.
Prof Kindiki and his former campaigner, Mr Kiambi Matanka, are from Tharaka constituency and are long-time friends.
In 2013, Mr Matanka used his popularity as a philanthropist to market for the little known professor, who had spent most of his time abroad studying law.
Mr Matanka said he opted to unseat the Senate Majority Leader for failing to honour development pledges they made in 2013.
“I feel that I have betrayed the residents of this county because all we promised have not been delivered,” Mr Matanka told the Sunday Nation in a recent interview.
He said the only way to apologise to the residents is by unseating the incumbent.
However, Prof Kindiki dismissed the accusations as political gimmicks and efforts to pursue selfish interests.
On development matters, he said, during a public meeting at Gatunga market, “I already have a legacy of being the first politician to promise a road project during campaigns and fulfill it in the first term”.
More importantly, he said he needs one more term to complete roads and water projects.
With three constituencies in the county, Prof Kindiki is enjoying huge support in Chuka/Igambang’ombe, which has about 77,000 registered voters while his rival has backing in Maara with roughly 63,000 voters.
The two will have to fight for another 63,000 votes in Tharaka.
Prof Kindiki has been endorsed by MPs, Muthomi Njuki (Chuka/Igambang’ombe), Mburi Muiru (Tharaka), Kareke Mbiuki (Maara) and Woman representative Beatrice Nkatha.
Mr Matanka on the other hand is enjoying support from Governor Samuel Ragwa and 14 out of 15 MCAs.
Party politics are also expected to dictate who will win.