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April 18. 2014 11:17AM

Sen. Odell won't seek re-election


Sen. Bob Odell 

CONCORD – A day after he was one of two Republican Senators to vote to repeal the death penalty, Sen. Bob Odell announced he would not seek re-election to the District 8 seat he has held for six terms.

The New London Republican said he believes it is time to move on and spend more time with his family and friends.

"As a New Hampshire native," Odell said, "being in our 24 member State Senate has been a continuum of my family's tradition of public service going back several generations that is important to me."

Odell, 70, said he told Senate President Chuck Morse several weeks ago he was trying to decide whether to run again. Morse told him to take his time deciding, but while he might regret not being in the Senate he would never regret spending more time with the ones he loved.

"That pretty much summed up what I had been feeling inside," Odell said. "So when he and I spoke again last week I told him I had decided not to run for re-election with no regrets."

Friday Morse said Odell has left his mark during his time in the legislature.

"During his seven terms in the legislature Senator Odell earned a well-deserved reputation as a diligent and dedicated representative of his district and as a public servant committed to working with anyone, regardless of political party, to improve the well-being of his constituents and his state," Morse said. "Bob has always been among my closest confidants and I have relied on him consistently for both his political acumen and his commonsense understanding of this state, its people, and its economy."

Odell has been the chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee for four terms and serves on the Finance Committee, both key to developing and overseeing the state's biennial budget.

He also was chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee for three terms.

Odell was one of the key Republican senators who negotiated with Democrats and reached a compromise on Medicaid expansion that lawmakers passed earlier this year and Gov Maggie Hassan signed into law.

Odell worked with hospitals and medical providers over the years to reform the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, which was recently found unconstitutional. He also involved in environmental protection and public utility issues during his tenure in the Senate.

GOP state party vice chair J.P. Marzullo of Deering said this week he would challenge Odell in the Republican primary.

grayno@unionleader.com



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