National MP Mark Mitchell has made the call not to stand for the Auckland mayoralty next year.
The MP for Whangaparaoa had been approached to stand next year, but said he had come to the conclusion he was a central government politician and wanted to stay to help National win the 2023 election.
"I was humbled by the amount of support I received. It's a serious job and I gave it serious consideration," said Mitchell, who has been informing his backers and National colleagues of the decision today.
He said he had messaged National leader Judith Collins about the decision.
"It is going to be critically important we are able to fight a strong campaign in 2023," Mitchell said.
Five weeks ago, the Herald reported that Mitchell planned to quit Parliament and stand as an independent, and tipped former National deputy leader Paula Bennett to be his campaign manager.
National's campaign manager at last year's election, Stu Mullin, was also believed to be on board the Mitchell bandwagon.
On August 21, Mullin registered and parked a website, www.markmitchell.co.nz, which is not being used for National Party purposes.
It is understood Mitchell and Bennett were visiting other potential candidates and the only confirmed centre-right candidate, Leo Molloy, urging them to stay out of the mayoral race to give Mitchell a clear run.
Molloy, the outspoken businessman and owner of headquarters bar on Auckland's Viaduct Basin, said "senior people" had made overtures to him.
He said if Mitchell made congestion his number one policy he would "wave the white flag and get in behind him".
Phil Goff, into his second term as Mayor of Auckland, is tipped to be appointed as the Ambassador to Washington at the end of his second mayoral term as the Government tries to boost its trade relationship under President Joe Biden.
Goff, who at 68 is nearing the end of a life in politics, has not ruled out an overseas post. The life-long Labour politician is expected to make a decision about his future early next year.
Labour's David Shearer has been touted as a possible successor if Goff does not stand again. Shearer has confirmed it had been raised with him after returning from a posting as head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
Since the Super City was formed in 2010, there have been two centre-left mayors, Len Brown and Phil Goff.
The centre-right has a dismal track record at the Auckland mayoral elections, with none of the candidates getting more than 35 per cent of the vote. On the left, Brown and Goff have swooped up nearly half the vote.