Former Nationals state director Ross Cadell says Michael Johnsen removed a cloud over other male government MPs by outing himself quickly as the subject of a rape allegation.
"There are plenty of other parliamentarians who would be going home to their wives ... and families who would have been asked uncomfortable questions had he not done that," Mr Cadell said.
Mr Johnsen denies the allegation, which is under police investigation, that he raped a sex worker at a Blue Mountains lookout in 2019.
Blue Mountains Labor MP Trish Doyle raised the allegation against a government MP under parliamentary privilege on Wednesday afternoon but did not name Mr Johnsen.
Mr Johnsen revealed that he was the subject of the complaint that evening after Nationals leader John Barilaro urged him to go public.
The Upper Hunter MP's political career now hangs in the balance.
The Nationals suspended his party membership on Thursday pending the investigation.
Mr Cadell said it was right for the party executive to immediately "examine whether [Johnsen's] membership is still compatible with National party beliefs".
He said the Nationals' prospects of hanging on to Upper Hunter, where a looming boundary redistribution could whittle down their already narrow 2.4 per cent margin to a wafer-thin 0.5 per cent, were up in the air.
"We're no longer making decisions," Mr Cadell said.
"It's unlikely, with what I've seen or heard to this point, that he'll be forced to resign from Parliament, and he may sit as an independent for some time.
"That obviously changes should any charges be proven.
"I think he has to make a decision about what's in his best interests as well."
Mr Cadell said the Nationals' prospects in a by-election were "somewhat difficult on a thin margin" but a general election would be "fought on other issues".
"I can't see circumstances where he [Johnsen] would be the candidate again for the Nationals," he said.
Mr Johnsen won the seat in 2015 after taking over from long-time member George Souris but suffered a 20.8 per cent swing against him, despite a promising showing in the federal seat of Hunter two years earlier.
He extended that margin by 0.2 percentage points in 2019 against Cessnock Labor councillor Melanie Dagg.
Ms Dagg resigned from the council this week but said the timing was a coincidence and she would not run in Upper Hunter at the next election in 2023.
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Mr Johnsen has faced criticism within the party over his performance as an MP and his split from wife Zenda nine months after a 2015 campaign in which his family was featured.
He faced calls to resign in June last year over comments he made about a Black Lives Matter protest.
"I wonder ... how many NSW BLM protestors also protested in favour of full term abortion? The irony," he wrote on Facebook.
Former Gloucester mayor and Nationals party member John Rosenbaum told the Newcastle Herald in 2018 that the Johnsen marriage breakdown and the circumstances around it were "very disappointing".
The family of a former business partner threatened bankruptcy proceedings against Mr Johnsen that year over an alleged $302,000 debt, a matter Mr Johnsen later said had been settled.
Mr Johnsen faced an unusual pre-selection challenge before the 2019 election from Upper Hunter councillor James Burns and former actor and Wallabies prop Ollie Hall.
As one party insider noted on Thursday: "He is one of the only politicians I know to be challenged for pre-selection after one term. A lot of the people who voted in that are still raising concerns."
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