On Friday, the National Party of Australia publicly declared there’s truth to one of its worst-kept secrets.
The party revealed its intentions to run for Gilmore via email.
The Nationals’ most likely candidate, Berrima resident and former NSW member of parliament Katrina Hodgkinson, will nominate for preselection.
Nominations will close on Friday, February 15.
The confirmation comes a fortnight after initial rumours circulated about the National Party’s interest in Gilmore.
The Nationals have not contested Gilmore this century.
However, less than 30 years ago, the party held the seat.
Nationals’ John Sharp had a long tenure as Gilmore MP from 1984 to 1993.
Since then, the ALP had a one-term stint in Gilmore, before Liberal Joanna Gash claimed the seat in 1996, and later, Ann Sudmalis in 2013.
Gilmore’s Labor Candidate Fiona Phillips has conveyed scepticism about the Nationals’ sudden interest in the seat.
“It looks like there are three Coalition candidates in Gilmore,” Ms Phillips said.
“They couldn’t choose one.”
While at the Nowra Show which she has attended for 48 years, Ms Phillips questioned the likely candidate’s loyalty to Gilmore.
“Two candidates have moved here specifically to run, I think people will see through it,” Ms Phillips said.
“Where’s our authentic representative?”
“Anyone can run, but how can they have the best interests of people in Gilmore at heart when they’ve never lived here?”