MEMBER for the Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay, who was set to quit state politics to be the National Party candidate at this year's federal election, last night exited the race.
He released a short statement at 11.18pm on Tuesday.
"A number of claims have been made today by the Labor Party and Tony Windsor’s office," he said..
"I have decided in the interests of the people of the New England electorate and the National Party to withdraw my candidacy for the forthcoming federal election.
"Given the current toxic political environment I do not want to put my family, the community or myself through an ongoing smear campaign.
"In relation to this speculation I have taken legal advice and shall be acting on that advice."
More to come today at www.armidalexpress.com.au