Labor has anointed the Bega Valley mayor to tackle a hotly contested three-cornered by-election battle for the federal NSW seat of Eden-Monaro.
Kristy McBain has the backing of Labor leader Anthony Albanese putting her in the box seat to win pre-selection after nominations close on Monday.
The retirement of Labor MP Mike Kelly has triggered the by-election, which is likely to be contested by NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro and a Liberal candidate.
Liberal Fiona Kotvojs came close to beating Dr Kelly at last year's federal election, while senator Jim Molan also hasn't ruled out a run.
Ms McBain, who made national media appearances during summer's bushfire crisis, said she wanted to hit the reset button for the southern NSW electorate.
"I don't want my community to be left behind and at the moment my community is being left behind," she told reporters in Canberra on Friday.
The area is grappling with the fallout from bushfires, drought and coronavirus.
After fires tore through swathes of the electorate over summer, climate change is expected to be a headline issue.
"Everybody trusts the science around coronavirus. I don't understand why people can't trust the science on climate change," Ms McBain said.
"It's real, it's there and you can see it on the ground in Eden-Monaro."
Mr Barilaro has ruffled feathers among federal Nationals with threats to withdraw NSW from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and attacks on the government.
"If there is an opportunity to do something on the federal political landscape, I've been quite vocal on a number of those issues, I'll give that a lot of consideration," he told reporters on Friday.
While he hasn't formally declared he will seek pre-selection, he gave a strong indication of his intentions when he spoke about spending time on the back bench after entering federal politics.
Mr Constance, who sits alongside Mr Barilaro in the NSW cabinet, declined to comment on whether he would nominate for pre-selection.
"Barra and I are not going to be contesting each other," he told 2GB.
The Liberals opened nominations on Friday and the party will hold a preselection ballot in about a month.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith is taking advice on a date for the poll.
Australian Associated Press