Kate Washington has emerged from a stormy state election campaign in Port Stephens as a potential new Labor leader in NSW.
Ms Washington, a health lawyer before she entered Parliament in 2015, is contemplating a run for the opposition leadership after the federal election in May.
"The party has a process in place to select a new leader, and that process will begin following the federal election," she told the Weekend Australian on Saturday.
She confirmed that stance to the Newcastle Herald on Sunday, having secured a 3 per cent swing in her favour in a seat the Coalition had targeted as a possible gain.
Labor has gagged MPs from talking about the leadership spill until after the federal vote for fear of creating an unwanted distraction.
But Labor sources said people within the party had sounded out Ms Washington about taking on frontrunner Chris Minns, the Member for Kogarah, who lost a leadership ballot against Michael Daley in November.
Mr Daley stepped down as leader after Labor's below-par showing in last month's state election.
Ms Washington, a mother of three, is Shadow Minister for the Hunter, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Acting Shadow Minister for Ageing and Disability Services.
Her candidacy may depend on whether opposition transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay decides to throw her hat in the ring.
Ms McKay, a former Member for Newcastle and now Strathfield MP, said on Sunday that she had not made a decision and would not comment until after the federal election.
Ms McKay, Ms Washington and Mr Minns are all in the party's Right faction.
The Herald has been told Treasury spokesman Ryan Park, who represents the Illawarra electorate of Keira and is another member of the Right, has decided not to contest the leadership.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was tipped to visit Government House on Sunday to set a date for the federal vote, but AAP reported he had decided to delay the announcement.
May 18 is now considered the most likely date for the election.