On Thursday, retiring Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis said she would support any candidate who prevents Labor’s Fiona Phillips from winning the seat at the next election.
Later in the day, Mrs Sudmalis met with Liberal Candidate for Gilmore Warren Mundine for a coffee in Nowra.
“It will be casual and non-directive,” she said.
“I will help wherever I can.”
Mr Mundine later told the South Coast Register it had been a constructive meeting.
She said Mr Mundine, who was parachuted in from the North Shore by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was not at a disadvantage to Ms Phillips, who is local.
“Even though there’s a Labor candidate that’s been bobbing around the district, she’s not really au fait with the things that really need to be pushed hard,” Mrs Sudmalis said
“Anyone coming into this position will need to be briefed on the local issues.
“It wouldn’t matter who the person was coming through now, no one has the knowledge that I’ve built up over six years, all the nitty-gritty details I’ve been working on.”
Mrs Sudmalis cleared Independent Gilmore Candidate Grant Schultz of any bullying allegations raised by Mr Morrison last week.
“That was a bad interpretation of what I said in parliament,” she said.
“I wouldn’t acknowledge words of negativity about any person, I am generally very careful about what I put out there.”
She also said she would be open to meeting Mr Schultz for coffee, and willing to support his campaign.
If prospective Nationals Candidate Katrina Hodgkinson makes a run for Gilmore, she, too, would have Mrs Sudmalis’ support.
“If the Nationals endorse her she’ll be another candidate that will kick Bill Shorten out,” she said.
Mrs Sudmalis said her greatest achievement was sourcing $155 million in federal funding for the new Nowra bridge – but there’s more work to be done.
“We still need massive improvements to the Princes Highway, that should be the top issue on every candidate’s agenda,” Mrs Sudmalis said.