- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Six-term state Sen. Bob Odell said Friday that he will not seek re-election this fall.

Odell, a Republican from New London, said he is leaving the job to spend more time with his companion, Judy Butler, his family and friends.

“I prepare to leave the Senate with my most sincere thanks to the voters who have elected me election after election and to my constituents I have had the privilege to serve,” he said in a statement.

Odell, 70, who represents the Upper Valley, was elected to the Senate in 2002 after serving one term in the House of Representatives.

Odell made news Thursday when he changed his position and voted to repeal the death penalty. He said he would have trouble explaining a vote against repeal to his young grandchildren. The repeal measure failed.

During the past legislative session, Odell chaired the Ways and Means Committee, was vice chairman of Energy and Natural Resources and served on the Finance Committee.

“As my colleagues all know, serving in the New Hampshire Senate is both a unique privilege and a sacrifice,” he said. “And much of that sacrifice is paid for by your family in the form of missed dinners, birthdays, vacations, and all kinds of special occasions because of the demands of the office. After fourteen years in the legislature those missed occasions start to add up.”

Odell said he informed Senate President Chuck Morse a few weeks ago that he was considering retirement.

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,” Morse said in a statement. “I, and all the members of the Senate, have been honored to call Bob a friend and a colleague.”

Odell was born in Nashua and raised in Milford. He graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. He has eight grandchildren.



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