BARNABY Joyce has confirmed he will recontest the seat of the New England in the next election.
Several media outlets reported Mr Joyce was either considering retiring before the election, not standing come election time or was about to be pushed out.
Mr Joyce, who is currently on two weeks of personal leave, put out a statement to hose down rumours of his retirement.
“I am disappointed to hear some people speaking about me not contesting the next election,” Mr Joyce said.
“I will certainly be contesting and have been humbled by the support I have received so far from around the New England electorate.
“The first people I would tell if I wasn’t [running] would be the electorate. I’m still working for New England, I’m having meetings in the electorate today.”
The Australian reported senior Nationals were pushing for former National leader John Anderson to replace Mr Joyce as the party's New England representative.
Mr Anderson served as deputy prime minister to John Howard and resigned from parliament in 2007.
Mr Anderson said he had been approached by several Nationals figures to run in the seat, but he had considered the conversations to be flippant and “joshing around”.
“I’ve not regarded any of those as serious proposals, nor would I see them as serious proposals,” he said.
Mr Anderson refused to rule out a second tilt at federal politics, however he could not “see the circumstances where I would run again”.
“This is not something that’s been on my radar,” he said.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshal has been touted as a potential successor to Mr Joyce, however he current holds the NSW tourism and major events portfolio in the Berejiklian government and may not be attracted to the idea of becoming a backbench MP in Canberra.
National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson has been named at times as a possible candidate if she chose to enter federal parliament.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave Mr Joyce his seal of approval, and said he’s been a great advocate for regional Australia
“I look forward to him running again in New England,” Mr Turnball said.
“Barnaby is a very effective advocate for regional Australia and I look forward to him continuing to play a role, a prominent role in Australian public life.”