Milton’s Grant Schultz will keep his nomination for preselection as the Liberal candidate for Gilmore following Ann Sudmalis’ expected retirement on Monday.
Mr Schultz said when speculation of Mrs Sudmalis’ retirement broke on Saturday he was “surprised”.
“I had nothing to do with it at any stage. This is a decision of Ann’s,” he told the Milton Ulladulla Times on September 17.
“This is a matter for Ann and I had no idea until I saw it on the news on Saturday. I was not expecting this.”
However, he said he keep his nomination for preselection in, despite the negative effect Mrs Sudmalis’ sudden exit from politics could have on the poll.
“I am about representing the people of Gilmore,” Mr Schultz said.
Mrs Sudmalis holds the seat with a margin of just 0.7 per cent, with a swing to Labor candidate Fiona Phillips in the 2016 election.
The news of Mrs Sudmalis’ departure from politics follows recent turmoil in the Liberal Party when a leadership spill saw former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shafted, and replaced by the country’s 30th Prime Minster, Scott Morrison.
Mr Morrison tried to persuade the marginal seat-holder not to quit politics, but Ms Sudmalis has reportedly knocked back his entreaties and decided to bow out.
Mrs Sudmalis was first elected to federal parliament in 2013 and is one of only 20 female Coalition MPs.