Labor's Dan Repacholi has drawn above his Nationals rival on the ballot for the hotly contested seat of Hunter.
The major parties did not win the number one position in any of the region's four electorates when the ballot draw was held at midday on Friday.
Mr Repacholi, a former Olympic shooter, drew second in Hunter. His main opponent, James Thomson, was seventh.
Independent Stuart Bonds, who attracted 21.8 per cent of the primary vote as a One Nation candidate in 2019, was fourth.
The Greens' Janet Murray secured top spot in the Hunter draw, which was interrupted when one of the candidates' numbers flew from the barrel while it was being turned.
Candidates and parties do not place much emphasis on ballot positions, but the draw can influence a tight contest if some electors choose to donkey-vote.
Liberal candidate Brooke Vitnell drew No.2 in Paterson, behind One Nation's Neil Turner and ahead of Labor incumbent Meryl Swanson in third.
Animal Justice Party's Bree Roberts secured top spot in Shortland, where Liberal challenger Nell McGill drew fourth and Labor MP Pat Conroy was fifth.
Australian Federation Party candidate Garth Pywell was first out of the barrel in Newcastle, followed by the Greens' Charlotte McCabe.
Labor incumbent Sharon Claydon was fourth and Liberal Katrina Wark sixth.
Ms Vitnell would not be drawn on whatever advantage, no matter how slight, she could have gained from the ballot positions.
"I hope the people will heed how-to-votes for the particular party that they would like to vote for," she said. "I'm not going to draw any inferences from the positioning."
The Medowie lawyer said Paterson was a "very tight race".
"Every single vote counts in this seat."
Mr Conroy said the mid-ballot positioning of the Labor and Liberal candidates in Shortland would make for "messy" how-to-vote cards.
Hunter attracted nine candidates, Paterson seven, Shortland eight and Newcastle eight.
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