Gary Odom

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Gary Odom
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 55 district
In office
Preceded by Michael D. Murphy
Succeeded by John Ray Clemmons
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Eastern Kentucky University

Gary Odom is a former American politician and the former Democratic Minority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He was elected to represent the 55th district, which is part of Davidson County.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Gary Odom was first elected as a state representative to serve in the 95th Tennessee General Assembly (1987–1988). In addition to serving as the Democratic Majority Leader, Rep. Odom serves as Chair of the House Ethics Committee and the House Rules Committee. He also serves on the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee; the House Health and Human Resources Committee; the House Government Operations Committee; the House Calendar and Rules Committee; the House Budget Subcommittee; the House Professional Occupations Subcommittee; the Joint TACIR Committee; the Joint Worker's Compensation Committee; the Joint Lottery Oversight Committee; and the Joint Tenncare Oversight Committee.[1]

Prior to his service in the Tennessee House of Representatives, he served in the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County from 1983 to 1995. For three years, he was a faculty member at Aquinas Jr. College, and for 20 years he served as Executive Director of the Tennessee Optometric Association. In 1973, he graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and in 1975 he earned his master's degree when he graduated from Eastern Kentucky University.[1]

Political views and sponsored legislation[edit]

In August 2007, Gary Odom sponsored a bill that made "doctor shopping," the practice of obtaining multiple prescriptions of the same or similar drugs from multiple doctors, a felony for patients on TennCare.[2] He introduced a bill that would have required hunters to have permission of homeowners before firing weapons on private property and within 100 yards (91 m) of someone's home, and after that was rejected by a House subcommittee, he introduced a bill to authorize local governments to regulate hunting.[3] In February 1998, he sponsored a bill that allowed Tennessee's 51 parks to put up voluntary donation boxes.[4] He voted against a bill that would have amended the Tennessee State Constitution to state that abortion is not included as a right to privacy in Tennessee.[5]

He was opposed to one aspect of Nashville, Tennessee's tree ordinance, which required 14 tree units, or about 28 small trees, to be planted per paved acre. Another option for large trucking companies was to make a payment to the city's tree fund, and a friend of Gary Odom owed the city's tree fund $191,000 as a result. He stated the ordinance is impractical for large industrial sites such as the 45-acre (180,000 m2) lot Western Express owns.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Tennessee House Member". Archived from the original on June 1, 1997. Retrieved September 13, 2007. 
  2. ^ Loller, Travis; Associated Press (August 21, 2007). "Painkiller sales up most in Tenn.". 
  3. ^ Carrey, Bill (March 14, 2002). "Metro Pulse/Cover/Tennessee's 10 Worst Laws". Nashville Scene. 
  4. ^ Sharp, Tom; Associated Press (February 25, 1998). "House committee agrees to allow voluntary donations at state parks". The Oak Ridger Online. 
  5. ^ Cauthorn, Skip (May 11, 2004). "Abortion bill fails in House". Nashville City Paper. 
  6. ^ Schrade, Brad (February 4, 2004). "New tactic used in fight to change tree ordinance". The Tennessean. 
Tennessee House of Representatives
Preceded by
Michael D. Murphy
Tennessee State Representative, 55th District
Succeeded by