One Nation will unveil Neil Turner on Thursday as its state candidate for Maitland while the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers have ruled out a preference deal with the major parties in Upper Hunter.
One Nation's leading candidate for a NSW upper-house seat, former federal Labor leader Mark Latham, will announce Mr Turner as the party's Maitland prospect on Thursday.
He described Mr Turner as One Nation's "regional chairman" during an interview with the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday, though little else is known about the party's sole Hunter candidate.
The Labor and Liberal parties said in November that they had ruled out preference deals with One Nation at the March 23 poll.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also rejected a deal with the Shooters or forming government with their help, declaring she could not support a party that "wants to give guns to 10-year-olds".
Opposition leader Michael Daley said Labor head office would work out preference deals "seat by seat".
Asked on Wednesday if Labor would do a deal with the Shooters in Upper Hunter, a party spokesman said: "Labor is enthusiastically advising all voters to give Labor their first preference."
A Shooters spokesman said later that candidate Lee Watts "won't be preferencing either Labor or the Nationals on her how-to-vote card". Ms Watts won 19.4 per cent of the primary vote in 2015 as an independent.
Preferences will be crucial in Upper Hunter, where Labor's Cessnock deputy mayor, Melanie Dagg, is trying to dislodge the Nationals' Michael Johnsen in the region's most marginal seat.
Mr Johnsen has a 2.2 per cent margin and received a boost late last year when Labor's Martin Rush withdrew over an anonymous letter alleging he had been involved in an altercation with a female flatmate.
Mr Rush narrowly avoided beating Mr Johnsen in 2015 after securing a 20.8 per cent swing to the ALP.
The Shooters said they had not done a preference deal in Maitland for candidate Nadrra Sarkis, who received 107 votes when running for the party in the upper house in 2015.
Labor's Jenny Aitchison holds Maitland by a comfortable 13.8 per cent margin and faces Liberal councillor Sally Halliday on March 23.
Mr Latham said One Nation would contest Maitland after winning 13 per cent of the primary vote in the federal seat of Paterson in 2016.
Their candidate on that occasion, Brian Burston, quit One Nation last year and joined Clive Palmer's United Australia Party after a feud with leader Pauline Hanson.
Mr Burston has since accused Ms Hanson of making unwanted advances towards him and was involved in a scuffle in Parliament House with one of her advisors, James Ashby, last week.
Asked if the chaos had damaged his own electoral chances, Mr Latham said: "These skirmishes in Parliament House are sort of a day-to-day basis ... I can happily report when I joined One Nation Brian Burston wasn't a member - he'd gone over to Clive Palmer - and I hope he stays there."
Mr Burston's brother Graeme, then a key One Nation operative, told the Herald in 2017 the party was "quietly confident" of winning four upper-house and “a couple” of lower-house seats in 2019, singling out Cessnock and Upper Hunter as the two major targets.
The party also planned to field candidates in every Hunter seat, but those ambitions have been tempered considerably.
Mr Latham, a racehorse owner and breeder, met with country racing representatives at Adamstown Bowling Club on Wednesday as part of a two-day swing through the Hunter.
He has released a policy agenda for the Hunter which includes adding 3000 parking spaces next to railway stations and in the Newcastle CBD, $200 million to redevelop John Hunter Hospital, and a coal-fired power station to replace Liddell, which AGL plans to shut in 2022.