Democrats pick Odom as House minority leader

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Rep. Gary Odom of Nashville won the position of minority leader of the state House despite efforts from Gov. Phil Bredesen to replace him.

Odom served one term as majority leader before Republicans won control of the House in the Nov. 4 election.

Odom defeated Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley in voting on Sunday at a caucus meeting. The vote total was not officially announced.

Bredesen spokeswoman Lydia Lenker had said there were "trust issues" with Odom after he opposed Bredesen's efforts to close a business tax exemption.

In an e-mail, Bredesen spokesman Michael Drescher wrote that although the governor respected the vote, "ultimately this doesn't change our position" on Odom.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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