The worst-kept secret in town has been confirmed by a leaked email.
Milton real estate agent Grant Schultz emailed local Liberal Party members to affirm he will challenge sitting member Ann Sudmalis at preselection for endorsement in Gilmore.
Amid reports Mrs Sudmalis’ opponents had received a directive from the Prime Minister to opt out of the race, Mr Schultz said he was at liberty to run.
”I declare that I have not received calls, texts or otherwise from Canberra requesting I not nominate,” he said.
“The calls that I have received are in the hundreds, from the people of Gilmore, encouraging me to nominate.”
The Melbourne-born, Cootamundra-raised contender worked for the Australian Federal Police for nearly 30 years, where he was deployed to East Timor three times and Cyprus once.
He was involved in a joint Aus Aid-AFP development program to rebuild the Timorese police force.
He moved to Milton in 2009, and established a real estate agency in 2012.
Running as a man of the people, Mr Schultz distanced himself from warring factions of the Liberal Party.
“Despite reports in recent weeks, my nomination is in no way a result of a factional allegiance.
“Those of you who know me, know that I am my own man, and that I act only in the best interests of the Party and our ability to win the next election.”
He pledged to fight for the people of the local area, with his wife, Rebecca Cameron, by his side.
“We have decided to step forward for the party and the people of Gilmore,” Mr Schultz said.
“I will fight for our region and I will not back down - to anyone. Thank you for your support, advice and wisdom so far.”