Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis says she's been doing a "damn good job" as a preselection challenge from a male candidate reignites debate over female representation in parliament.
Ms Sudmalis's determination to stand again has received the strong backing of the prime minister and treasurer who are giving her the "warm embrace of the Turnbull government".
The NSW south coast MP is facing a preselection battle against local real estate agent and former UN peacekeeper Grant Schultz in her seat of Gilmore at the next election.
But she isn't backing away.
"I've been doing a damn good job and there shouldn't be any reason to change the jockey on the horse," she told reporters on Thursday, when asked what her message to preselectors would be.
Her comments follow the preselection loss last week by her colleague and assistant minister, Jane Prentice, in her fight to re-contest her Queensland seat of Ryan.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Ms Sudmalis has his support.
"She is a persistent, persuasive and relentless advocate for her community, no question about that," he told reporters north of Brisbane.
Treasurer Scott Morrison earlier acknowledged her future is a matter for preselectors, but also backed her to stay.
"Ann has demonstrated that she is the right candidate here, because she has won this seat in tough contests," he told reporters during a visit to Nowra.
"If it wasn't for Ann at the last election, Bill Shorten would now be prime minister."
Liberal frontbencher Zed Seselja also hopes she can fend off the preselection challenge.
"I would want to see (Ann) go to the next election and win and it's a hard seat," he told Sky News.
"You want to see someone who's performed really well, as Ann has, continue and I would be very hopeful that would be the case."
Mr Schultz, a former federal police officer and United Nations peacekeeper, ran for preselection in Gilmore in 2012 but finished third in voting.
Ms Prentice's loss in the preselection ballot has been decried by many Liberal Party members, including Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer, who this week pledged $50,000 of her own money to a fund aimed at increasing the number of female coalition MPs.
Ms Prentice has held the seat of Ryan for the LNP since 2010.
Following her dumping by party branch members, she will be replaced by Brisbane councillor Julian Simmonds who will fight the next federal election.