A DEJECTED Ken Jordan has conceded his friendship with Buildev co-founder Darren Williams played a role in his defeat by Labor Party rival Kate Washington.
"I was attacked for my friendship with Darren Williams. If having a friend cost me the election I am happy with that," Mr Jordan said after Saturday's 21 per cent swing away from the Liberal Party.
"I did the best I could do in a short campaign and I was up against a big union campaign.
"I am so sorry I could not win the seat so that we, the people of Port Stephens, would be in government with Mike Baird. The area of Port Stephens will receive very little for the next four years and that upsets me."
Mr Jordan said he could hold his head high and say he did not run a dirty campaign.
Mr Jordan thanked all who voted for him and paid tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who helped throughout the campaign.
"I will now return to school teaching after using all my long service leave to run the campaign and will continue to serve the people of Port Stephens on council."
Mr Jordan won preselection in January after the withdrawal from office of former Liberal MP Craig Baumann due to ICAC revelations.
A first time state candidate, Mr Jordan received only a single visit from the Liberals' popular Premier Mike Baird.
Throughout the campaign he was accused of ignoring community engagement.
His decision to attend a Tea Gardens monthly meeting in preference to a highly publicised Nelson Bay meet the candidates forum drew criticism and was seen by many as naive.
Despite the Liberals' loss in Port Stephens, the re-elected Baird government is set to deliver several benefits to Port Stephens, with the $70 million full duplication of Nelson Bay Road plus a $3 million commitment to begin planning for the long-awaited Fingal Bay link road.
It also means a $200 million extension of the M1, one-stop Service NSW shops for Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace, $2.5 million worth of boating projects, $8 million sewerage works, a crackdown on public housing crime and better sport facilities.