The major parties have their eyes on Wagga’s state seat as anti-corruption hearings have opened the field for the March poll.
Labor has been the first to name an official candidate in the attempt to replace Wagga MP and ex-Liberal member Daryl Maguire, who has said he will not recontest the seat.
NSW acting opposition leader Michael Daley announced on Tuesday morning that Wagga councillor Dan Hayes would contest the seat of Wagga Wagga for Labor.
Mr Maguire quit the Liberal Party on Friday after revelations at the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation’s into Canterbury City Council.
The commission heard a recorded phone call that detailed how Mr Maguire sought to use his influence as an MP for personal gain from a Sydney property deal.
A Nationals spokesman said the party had “no official position” on whether it would run a candidate in the formerly Liberal-held seat.
If party officials determine that the Nationals can run in Wagga against a Liberal Party candidate without breaking a Coalition agreement, it will be up to Wagga Nationals members to proceed with nominating a candidate.
The Liberal Party has opened up nominations for its own Wagga candidate.
Tumut paramedic and Snowy Valleys deputy mayor John Larter told the ABC on Monday that he was willing to nominate to be the Liberal candidate.
Mr Larter did not respond to a request for further comment.
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey told Sydney radio station 2GB on Tuesday afternoon that he had contacted Mr Maguire.
“I have known Daryl for the last 30-odd years and on Friday night I did send him a text message (from my wife and I,) that we were thinking of him, after all he’s a human being and he’s been doing it extremely tough.”
“At the same time, I think reality should be that you can’t remain a local member for this dynamic city.”
Mr Conkey said Mr Maguire, in his opinion, “does not have a future” as Wagga’s MP and the region needed a representative with working access to the government.
Mr Maguire posted a Facebook video on Monday in which he repeatedly apologised for breaching the code of conduct as a parliamentary secretary but ruled out resigning as an MP.
The video was later taken offline.