HE wasn't due to be announced as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate for Calare until Monday, but the party has now confirmed Orange councillor Sam Romano will take on the challenge in a month's time.
The party announced on Thursday morning the candidate would face the press at a launch on Monday, but rumours of Cr Romano's preselection began soon after.
On Friday, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers communications director Oliver Jacques said the rumours were true.
"There was a preselection and a number of candidates were interviewed - he is a member of the party and has some profile in Orange," he said.
"It's been very challenging given the timeframe and we've just come out of a state campaign - the candidates who won Murray and Barwon, and Phil [Donato, member for Orange], were well known for a long time."
The candidates who won Murray and Barwon, and Phil [Donato, member for Orange], were well known for a long time.SFF communications director Oliver Jacques
Cr Romano said it was "an honour and a privilege" to be chosen, but would not comment on his policy position on Monday.
"I'm happy to do it," he said.
Cr Romano led the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers ticket at the 2017 Orange City Council election.
Receiving almost 14 per cent of the primary vote among a record-breaking pool of 88 candidates, the ticket was the only one to have two candidates elected - Cr Romano was elected first and Mario Previtera was elected ninth.
He was elected deputy mayor by his peers in September.
He will contest the poll against Nationals' incumbent Andrew Gee and Labor candidate Jess Jennings.
At last month's state election, Mr Donato received 49 per cent of the primary vote in Orange, while in Bathurst, SFF candidate Brenden May received just 14.7 per cent against The Nationals' Paul Toole.