NEW South Wales Liberal MP Andrew Constance has called off his campaign to represent the party in the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.

The announcement came just one day after Mr Constance, the state transport minister, announced his plans to run for the key marginal electorate that has become vacant due to the retirement of Labor MP Dr Mike Kelly.

“I appreciate people will be confused by my actions over the past couple of days, and for that I am sorry,” Mr Constance said in a statement posted on social media.

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“I also have unfinished business and Transport and Main Roads Minister. I want to deliver crucial life-saving reforms in road safety and a safer, cleaner future in public transport.”

It was later reported Mr Constance had been the subject of a smear campaign and had taken exception to profanities directed his way by Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

Mr Constance, who represents the state seat of Bega, said he also remained focused on bushfire recovery efforts in the region.

The short campaign invited comparisons with the political career of Queensland rugby league legend Mal Meninga, the Origin star famously ending his run for parliament in his first radio interview.

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