Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule has confirmed he will seek the National Party nomination for the Tukituki electorate.
Last year the mayor was re-elected for a sixth and final term as Hastings mayor - after a campaign where he assured the public he would remain in the role for the full term.
However, he announced today he will be vying for the role of Tukituki MP, with nominations for the seat to close on Monday at noon.
"The decision to stand for Parliament has been a complex one," he said. "My immediate priority remains as Mayor of Hastings, including resolving the water issues by the middle of 2017".
"It would be an honour to represent the people of Tukituki in Parliament should that opportunity eventuate and this will ultimately be a decision made by the voters. I believe I can make a real difference for the people of Hastings District, Tukituki and the Hawke's Bay region in Wellington."
The electorate has been held by National since 2005.
The possibility of Mr Yule seeking the role has been speculated on since December, when incumbent MP Craig Foss made the surprise announcement that he would not contest the 2017 election - despite confirming an attempt for a fifth term in October.
This announcement came shortly after the shock resignation of former Prime Minister John Key.
Mr Yule said Mr Foss' resignation had been "completely unexpected".
As well as Hastings mayor, he has been the president of Local Government New Zealand since 2008, a role which will come to an end in July this year.
Mr Yule had previously been an electorate chairman for National.
The mayor said if the National Party and its members chose him as their candidate, subsequent decisions would be required which he intended to involve his fellow councillors in.
Until that point, Mr Yule said he would saying very little while the selection process is underway.
A pre-selection process for the Tukituki seat will get underway next week, before party members vote on selected candidates, Tukituki National Party chairman Kevin Trerise said.
They hoped to have a decision before the end of February.
When selected, the National Party candidate will contest the seat against Labour's Anna Lorck, who was confirmed as the party's candidate in June.