Liberia: 7 Representatives Declare Senatorial Bids

Reps. Hanson Kiazolu, Edward Karfiah, and Crayton Duncan are among those Representatives seeking to ascend to the Senate.

… Rep. Jones Declines

Capitol Hill, Monrovia - At least seven representatives (incumbents) are said to have declared their senatorial bids for the pending presidential and legislative elections scheduled for Tuesday, October 10, 2023.

The declaration of the seven Representatives clarified rumors of their re-elections in the county's districts, with four months until elections.

The Daily Observer, in a series of exclusive interviews with the staff of those seven Representatives (incumbents), revealed their respective and irreversible senatorial bids.

Accordingly, the lawmakers seeking the Senate are River Gee Districts 2 and 3 Representatives Francis Young and Francis Dopoe; Sinoe County Districts 1 and 3 Representatives Dr. Matthew Zarzar and Crayton Duncan; Bong County District 5 Rep. Edward Karfiah; Bomi County District 1 Rep. Mambu Sonnii; and Montserrado County District 17 Rep. Hanson Kiazolu.

The River Gee Representatives, Francis Young and Francis Dopoe, will join the senatorial incumbent, Conmany Wesseh, to contest the senatorial seat.

Both Representatives openly expressed their intentions and tested the waters in the 2020 midterm election that saw Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbie elected to the Senate seat.

Reports said Rep. Dopoe is an advocate and developmental oriental lawmaker; while Rep. Young is a traditionalist and deeply part of the people’s culture. Both of them were elected in 2017.

“Rep. Dopoe is contesting the Senate and he will win. His work in the county, including the advocacy for the health workers on the payroll, speaks volumes,” a staffer confirmed.

“Rep. Young is the people’s choice, a man of culture,” Rep. Young’s aide said.

Though the probability of the reelection of Sen. Wesseh is still high, the odds may change if the Senator becomes complacent.

Sinoe County’s battle is very unpredictable. Incumbent Senator J. Milton Teahjay is still perceived by some people as “Sinoe's Mandela”.

Sen. Teahjay, was jailed by the 53rd Legislature when he was Superintendent on what was described as “for the struggle of the Sinoians and the County”. His advocacy led to his election as Senator, whipping the late Mobutu Nyenpan in 2014.

Representatives Duncan and Zarzar believed their works over the years have qualified them to be Senator. 

Rep. Zarzar, after serving in the private sector and the Executive Branch from 1975 to 2012, became a lawmaker in 2013 in a by-election, replacing the late Nelson Bah Wah. Rep. Duncan came to prominence from the Central Bank of Liberia, where he served as Special Assistant and then Chief of Staff to Dr. J. Mills Jones, Executive Governor of CBL. Rep. Duncan was elected In 2017.

Rep. Mambu Sonii lost to Grand Cape Mount County Senator Simeon Taylor in the 2020 midterm election. Rep. Sonii is still politically optimistic and has since set his sights on the Senate.

Montserrado County District #17, Rep. Kiazolu will join Rep. Sonnii to battle incumbent Sen. Cllr. Varney Sherman for Grand Cape Mount County’s senatorial seat.

Rep. Kiazolu has evidently reshuffled his staff, employing over 20 persons from Grand Cape Mount County —

both in his office and in the county. 

“I am poised to be elected to represent the people of Grand Cape Mount,” Rep. Kiazolu said. 

He served as Comptroller General of Liberia before becoming a Legislator, and was elected in 2017.

Rep. Mambu Sonnii, who became a lawmaker since 2012 is a formidable candidate in the Senatorial race compared to Rep. Kiazolu.

Rep. Edward Karfiah of Bong County District 5, is still the second most-loved lawmaker in Bong. He comes second to Sen. Prince Moye who, in his second term as Representative of District 2 and Deputy Speaker, sought the Senate and won during the 2020 midterm election.

Rep. Karfiah, another second-term Representative, wants to emulate Sen. Moye but the introduction of ‘Johnny’ in Bong’s politics suggests Rep. Karfiah has more work to do.

Meanwhile, Margibi County District 2 Representative Ivar K. Jones, one of the   potential challengers in the 2020 Mid election in 2020 clarified that he will not be seeking Margibi’s Senate seat in 2023.

Rep. Jones told the Daily Observer  exclusively that he will be seeking reelection of District 2, contrary to rumors that he would continue to fight for the Senate.

“I am not going for the Senate. I am seeking reelection and my works over the years will serve as my campaign for my overwhelming victory,” Rep. Jones said.