NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has endorsed fellow minister Andrew Constance to run for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro, making it clear he will not contest the seat if Mr Constance does.
Eden-Monaro is currently held by Labor’s Mike Kelly, but rumours have swirled that Mr Kelly may resign as early as this half of the year, prompting a byelection, due to ongoing health issues. Mr Barilaro has said he won’t recontest the next state election and has been widely tipped to run for Eden-Monaro in the future.
Last week Mr Constance said he would also quit state politics once bushfire recovery is complete in his seat of Bega, but he did not put a definitive timeline on the decision.
There has been speculation Mr Constance could run for the south coast seat of Gilmore, which the Liberals lost to Labor at the last federal election. But The Sun-Herald can reveal he has expressed interest in the seat of Eden-Monaro, a politically fickle electorate running down the coast south of Batemans Bay and inland to Cooma and Jindabyne.