Gilmore MP Joanna Gash will resign from the Liberal Party at the end of her term as federal member if she is elected to Shoalhaven City Council.
Mrs Gash, 68, said in January she would not recontest the seat she's held since 1996, setting her sights instead on becoming the next Shoalhaven mayor.
She has since announced that when her federal term ends, so will her association with the party.
"I don't have to give my reasons, but one is that I have always said that I don't believe political parties should have a presence on local councils," Mrs Gash said.
"I think there is an advantage not to be politically aligned when on council and I would rather be an independent.
"I want to represent the whole community ... I don't want there to be a perception that I won't."
But with the federal election potentially not being held until November next year, Mrs Gash could face a year on the council as a Liberal Party member.
"We don't know when the next election will be called ... it could be six months, it could be tomorrow," she said.
Mrs Gash has come under heavy criticism from rival candidates over her decision to maintain dual roles, but despite this, remains the front runner to be the next mayor.
So far four other candidates, all serving councillors, have entered the Shoalhaven mayoral race, including former mayor Greg Watson, the Greens' Amanda Findley, Shoalhaven Action Campaign's John Fergusson and serving Deputy Mayor Andrew Guile.
Mr Guile was defeated by former Kiama councillor and Gash staff member Ann Sudmalis in the Liberal Party's bitter Gilmore preselection battle.
Mrs Gash said her campaigning would not have any impact on her ability to represent her constituents in the north of the Gilmore electorate, which takes in the Kiama municipality and parts of Shellharbour City.
"I'm still doing all my visits, I go to most of the functions ... I am still doing my job," she said.
"But I also have an endorsed Liberal candidate [Ms Sudmalis] who will be taking the fight to the Labor Party at the next election, not me."
However, Cr Watson, the former Shoalhaven mayor who was first elected to council in 1974, said that "people right across the city were annoyed" at Mrs Gash's decision to hold dual roles.
"Mrs Gash will be out of the system for 12 months and they are the most critical 12 months of the whole council term," he said.
"I don't want to be critical of [the present mayor and NSW upper house MP] Paul Green, but he has demonstrated it is not possible to do both jobs."