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Thomas Stewart "Tom" Udall (born May 18, 1948) is the junior United States Senator from New Mexicomarker and a member of the Democratic Party. He had represented as a member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999. Udall was elected as the junior United States senator from New Mexico on November 4, 2008, defeating Congressman Steve Pearce.

Education and family

Tom Udall's family can be traced to territorial New Mexico, and he was born in Tucson, Arizonamarker. He attended Prescott College, graduating with a pre-law degree in 1970. In 1975, he graduated from Cambridge Universitymarker in Englandmarker with a Bachelor of Law degree. That fall, he enrolled in the University of New Mexico School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1977. After graduating, Udall was Law Clerk to Chief Judge Oliver Seth of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His legal career then included appointments as Assistant US Attorney in the criminal division and Chief Counsel to the Department of Health and Environment. A partnership followed in the Miller Law Firm.

He is the son of Stewart Udall, who was Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, nephew of Arizonamarker Congressman Morris Udall, and 1st cousin of Coloradomarker Senator Mark Udall and double second cousin of former Oregonmarker Senator Gordon Smith. He was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The frequent occurrence of the Udall surname in politics has prompted several Washington insiders to state that there are "oodles of Udalls on the Hill".

Political career

In 1982, Udall ran for Congress in the newly-created 3rd District, but lost the Democratic primary to Bill Richardson. He ran for Congress again in the 1st District for the seat left open by retiring 20-year incumbent Manuel Lujan, but narrowly lost to Bernalillo County District Attorney Steven Schiff.

From 1991 to 1999 he served as Attorney General of New Mexico.

U.S. House of Representatives

Udall ran for Congress again in 1998 in the 3rd District against Bill Redmond, who had been elected in a 1997 special election to replace Richardson. Redmond was a conservative Republican representing a heavily Democratic district, and the 3rd's partisan tilt was enough for Udall to defeat Redmond with 53 percent of the vote to Redmond's 43 percent. Udall never faced another close contest, and was reelected four times, including a completely unopposed run in 2002. He won a fifth term in the 2006 midterm elections he was reelected with 75 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Ron Dolin.

As a U.S. Representative, Tom Udall belonged to the centrist New Democrat Coalition and the more liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus. He was also a member of the United States House Peak Oil Caucus.

Committee assignments

2008 U.S. Senate campaign

In November 2007 he announced he would give up his congressional seat to run in the 2008 Senate election in New Mexico to replace Pete Domenici, who was retiring. The only other Democrat in the race, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, dropped out in December, essentially handing the nomination to Udall. New Mexico's other two members of the House, 1st District Congresswoman Heather Wilson and 2nd District Congressman Steve Pearce, also gave up their seats to run in the Republican primary. Pearce won the Republican nomination, and lost to Udall in November 2008 elections. Democrat Ben R. Luján went on to win Udall's House seat.

While Udall was running for senate in New Mexico, his first cousin, congressman Mark Udall, ran for the Colorado Senate seat left open by the retirement of Wayne Allard. Their double second cousin, incumbent Gordon Smith of Oregonmarker, also ran in a Senate election against Jeff Merkley. While Mark and Tom Udall are Democrats, Smith is a Republican.

Tom Udall won his Senate race with 61% of the vote.

U.S. Senate

Committee assignments

See also


  1. Udall family of Arizona at the Political Graveyard
  2. Rep. Tom Udall on resource depletion and climate change Global Public Media, December 9, 2005

External links

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