Odom has been battling criminal corruption charges since August 2002, when he was indicted on 21 counts. The case was whittled away over the years, and a state judge dismissed all remaining charges earlier this year. However, prosecutors have appealed that ruling, asking for the case to be reinstated.Strain is now commissioner-elect of the Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry.
Despite his legal problems, he won re-election four years ago, and he led a field of three candidates in the October 20th election with 41% of the vote, but he required a majority to win re-election.
[State Representative Mike Strain] finished just behind Odom with 40%.
Odom did not take any questions at the press conference, and did not offer any reason for withdrawing from the race. He said that his post-retirement plans include operating a consulting business geared toward the agriculture industry.