Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

U.S. Senator (since January 2009)

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Why He Matters

Like all Udalls before him, New Mexico's junior senator is a Westerner through and through.

Taking cues from his father Stewart Udall, a congressman and secretary of interior for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and his uncle Morris Udall, a 30-year congressional veteran and 1976 presidential candidate, Udall devotes much of his time to environmental and energy issues. His brother Mark Udall is a senator from Colorado.

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Tom Udall’s name added to the mix for Interior post

Sen. Tom Udall’s name sent to the White House for consideration — but other candidates might have an edge.


Katrina vanden Heuvel: The ‘next Citizens United’ may fuel a popular uprising

(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The ‘next Citizens United’ may fuel an uprising.

Senate Democrats plan all-nighter tonight for climate change

It’s been in the works for months and will include some of the chamber’s most liberal members.

Wonkbook: What you need to know about the Supreme Court’s new money-in-politics decision

The Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign donation limits.


Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

U.S. Senator (since January 2009)


Obama poised to protect public lands in New Mexico, California

(Brad Smith)

The president is set to use his authority under the Antiquities Act if Congress does not act soon.


At a Glance

  • Career History: U.S. Representative (1999 to 2008); New Mexico Attorney General (1991 to 1997); Attorney (1985 to 1990)
  • Birthday: May 18, 1948
  • Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
  • Alma Mater: Prescott College, B.S., 1970; University of Cambridge, B.L., 1975; University of New Mexico Law School, J.D., 1977
  • Spouse: Jill Cooper
  • Religion: Religion
  • Committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation ; Indian Affairs ; Rules ; Environment and Public Works ; Foreign Relations
  • DC Office: Hart Office Building 110

Path to Power

One of six children born to Stewart and Ermalee Udall, Tom Udall was born on May 18, 1948, in Tucson, Arizona. He spent his childhood shuttling between Tucson and, with his father a member of two presidential cabinets, McLean, Va.

Udall returned to Arizona to attend Prescott College and graduated in 1970. Five years later he received his bachelor of laws degree from the University of Cambridge and quickly moved to New Mexico. In 1982 Udall took his first stab at elected politics, finishing dead last in the Democratic primary for the newly created 3rd congressional district. After another unsuccessful run for Congress in 1988, Udall won the statewide race for attorney general in 1990 and won re-election to that post in 1994.

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The Issues

Udall may have moved to center for the 2008 Senate election, but his liberal credentials are bona fide. He voted with his party 98 percent of the time in the 110th Congress and his 2007 voting score from the American Conservative Union was 0. The liberal group Americans for Democratic Action gave him a score of 100.

Udall's priorities once in the Senate will likely be similar to those he focused on in the House: national security, the environment and the economy.

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The Network

The first political network of all Udalls is fellow Udalls. Tom and his cousin Mark Udall, the junior senator from Colorado, are both on the Peak Oil Caucus and rely on one another for political advice.

He also campaigned with New Mexico's senior Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) who has vowed to help get Udall on committees he wants. "I think that there are things that we can do very effectively, particularly with a Democratic administration," Bingamin said.

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Additional Resources

  1. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Economy-tops-Udall-s-priorities
  2. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Tom-Udall--Democrat-rides-wave-of-popular-support
  3. http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/10/20/145754/91
  4. http://www.roswell-record.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=34354&SectionID=51&SubSectionID=124
  5. http://www.tomudall.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=26
  6. http://elections.foxnews.com/candidate/thomas-stewart-udall/
  7. http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_10948084
  8. http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2007/oct/05/rep-tom-udall-wont-run-replace-sen-pete-domenici/
  9. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Replacing-Domenici-likely-to-be-tough-task-for-Udall
  10. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Opinion/Democrat-Tom-Udall-Anti-bailout-votes-among-hardest-I-ve-ever-c