The Nationals have named Maitland cafe owner Josh Angus, who ran in Cessnock in last month's NSW election, as their federal candidate for the Hunter electorate.
The 26-year-old will take on Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon, who has a 12.5 per cent margin, in the national vote on March 18.
Mr Angus shaved 2.7 per cent off Clayton Barr's 22 per cent margin in Cessnock despite being gagged from talking to the media during the campaign.
His state candidacy caused friction in the Cessnock Liberal branch, which had been positioning itself to contest the seat for the Coalition.
Meanwhile, Newcastle Greens hope John Mackenzie has promised $26 million for flood protection in Wallsend, including $6 million for rebuilding the Boscawen Street bridge and $20 million for channel widening.