Joel Odom, youngest person to run for Charlotte mayor, found dead at age 22

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 4:47 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Joel Odom, who was the youngest person to run for Charlotte mayor in 2019, was found dead in his home at the age of 22 on Thursday.

A family member says Odom’s father found him Thursday in the bathroom.

The 2019 primaries for Charlotte mayor presented a then 20-year-old Odom as a fresh face. He wished to replace Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. He stressed that he was up for the challenge and would ignore voters who believed he was too young to run.

“I am excited to prove all those individuals wrong,” Odom said at the time. “To show them that I have what it takes to be that leader.”

Odom said he was troubled by the violence happening in Charlotte as his own friends were among the people who were murdered. He believed that if he won he could offer young people hope and help make the city safe.

“Someone has to inspire young people,” Odom said. “That’s the only solution. Someone has to really care about the individuals in Charlotte and I care.”

In October of 2020, Odom celebrated his 22nd birthday by giving back to those in need.

He partnered with the Salvation Army Center of Hope for Women and Children and “Regal Little Miss Teen North Carolina” to host a donation drive.

People dropped off bed sheets, blankets, socks and health products. These are all items the shelter said it needed the most.

Odom said it felt good to lend a helping hand.

“We’re just trying to do our part to make sure our community has what it needs,” Odom said at the time.

There’s no word on the cause of Odom’s death or any other details about what happened as very little is known at the time.

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