Nats candidate on sex charge found dead

A National Party candidate accused of rape has died six days ahead of the Victorian state election.

Shaun David Gilchrist, 47, the candidate for the regional seat of Narracan, died unexpectedly at Rawson on Sunday.

Police were called to bushland about 4.15pm and will prepare a report for the coroner, but the death is not being treated as suspicious.

He was due in the County Court on November 30 for sexual offences, AAP has confirmed.

A trial date was set for June 2023.

National's leader Peter Walsh told reporters on Monday the party was not aware of the charges when Mr Gilchrist was endorsed.

But Mr Walsh would not say whether the coalition had spoken to the 47-year-old about the allegations before his death.

"I'm not going to get into a commentary about the issues because I have been specifically asked by his widow to respect their privacy," Mr Walsh said.

Mr Gilchrist, who lived in Warragul but worked overseas representing government and business, is survived by his partner and children.

In a statement, Premier Daniel Andrews said while he had never met Mr Gilchrist he was "respected by so many across the community for his warmth, his humour and his hard work."

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends, as well as his colleagues and his supporters, who are all grieving the most tragic of losses," he said.

The Victorian Electoral Commission has been notified of his death and has deemed the election for the Narracan District 'failed'.

According to the commission's candidate handbook, an election will be considered "failed" if a candidate dies after nominations close but before 6pm on election day.

A new date for a supplementary election will be announced in the future, but voters in the region will still need to head to the ballot box this weekend to vote for the Upper House.

Failure to do so could result in a $92 fine.

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