Tom Udall

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Tom Udall
Tom Udall portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from New Mexico
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Serving with Martin Heinrich
Preceded by Pete Domenici
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Bill Redmond
Succeeded by Ben Luján
28th Attorney General of New Mexico
In office
January 1, 1991 – January 1, 1999
Governor Bruce King
Gary Johnson
Preceded by Hal Stratton
Succeeded by Patricia Madrid
Personal details
Born Thomas Stewart Udall
(1948-05-18) May 18, 1948 (age 70)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jill Cooper
Children Amanda
Alma mater Prescott College
Downing College, Cambridge
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Religion Mormon

Thomas Stewart "Tom" Udall (born May 18, 1948) is the senior United States Senator from New Mexico and a member of the Democratic Party. First elected to the Senate in 2008, he represented New Mexico's 3rd congressional district as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and was the Attorney General of New Mexico from 1991 to 1999.

Early life, education, and law career

Udall was born in Tucson, Arizona, to Ermalee Lenora (née Webb) and Stewart Udall, the Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969.[citation needed] Two of his maternal great-grandparents were Swiss.[1][importance?] He attended Prescott College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970. In 1975, he graduated from Downing College, Cambridge in England 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. Udall then served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Oliver Seth of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His subsequent legal career included appointments as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal division and Chief Counsel to the New Mexico Department of Health and Environment.[citation needed]

Early political career

In 1982, Udall ran for Congress in the newly created 3rd district, based in the state capital, Santa Fe, and most of north of the state. He lost the Democratic primary to Bill Richardson. In 1988, he ran for Congress again, this time in an election for the Albuquerque-based 1st district seat left open by retiring twenty-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.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives


Udall ran for Congress again in 1998 in the 3rd district against incumbent 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 helped Udall defeat Redmond with 53 percent of the vote.[3] He was reelected four more times with no substantive opposition, including an unopposed run in 2002.


As a U.S. Representative, Tom Udall was a member of both the centrist New Democrat Coalition and the more liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus. He was a member of the United States House Peak oil Caucus, which he co-founded with Representative Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland.[4][5]

Committee assignments

Udall sat[when?] on the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations in the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Legislative Branch He was the Co-Vice Chair of the House Native American Caucus and Co-Chair of the International Conservation Caucus.[citation needed]

U.S. Senate


In November 2007, Udall announced he would run for the Senate seat held by retiring incumbent Pete Domenici.[6] Potential Democratic rival Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez dropped out, handing Udall the nomination. New Mexico's other two members of the House, 1st and 3rd district's Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, ran in the Republican primary. Pearce won the Republican nomination, and lost to Udall, who won 61 percent of the vote.[citation needed]

While Udall ran for Senate in New Mexico, his younger first cousin, Congressman Mark Udall, ran for the Senate in Colorado. Their double second cousin, incumbent Gordon Smith of Oregon, also ran for reelection. Both Udalls won and Smith lost.[importance?][citation needed]


Udall has voted with his party 97 percent of the time since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate.[citation needed] He voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, DREAM Act,[7] American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.[8]

Udall was one of the first members of Congress to publicly express concern about the possibility of NSA overreach, a year before Edward Snowden's 2013 disclosure of the PRISM program.[9]


On March 19, 2013, Udall introduced into the Senate the Sandia Pueblo Settlement Technical Amendment Act (S. 611; 113th Congress), a bill that would transfer some land to the Sandia Pueblo tribe.[10][11] Also during the 113th Congress, Udall introduced a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would allow limits on outside spending in support of political candidates.[12][13] The Amendment won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 vote in July 2014.[13]

In March 2015 Udall sponsored Senate bill 697, a bill to amend and reauthorize the Toxic Substances Control Act, called the "Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act".[14] Opponents of the legislation leaked a draft of the bill before the introduction and alleged that the bill had been created by a user of the American Chemistry Council. Some environmental, health and labor organizations and several states have criticized it because "it would gut state chemical regulations",[15] but Udall and his office have vehemently denied that, pointing to two years of stakeholder involvement and an open process in crafting a major reform effort, with participation from senators, environmental organizations, health groups and business stakeholders. Despite critics' attempts to taint the bill as industry created, Udall helped shepherd the bill through the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works with a bipartisan vote of 15-5 on April 28, 2015.[16] Three of the committee's most liberal members, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined in support of the bill after winning major concessions addressing issues raised in a New York Times editorial.[17]

On May 7, 2015, Udall announced an additional 14 cosponsors (evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans), bringing support for his legislation to 36.[18] Udall also gained the endorsement of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who said she was "encouraged" by the bipartisan progress.[19] At an earlier hearing on the Udall legislation, EPA officials testified that the bill met all six of the Obama Administration's principles for chemical safety reform.

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral History


Democratic Party primary results[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Udall 141,629 100.00
Total votes 141,629 100.00
General election results[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tom Udall 505,128 61.33% +26.37%
Republican Steve Pearce 318,522 38.67% -26.37%
Majority 186,606 22.66% -7.43%
Turnout 823,650
Democratic gain from Republican Swing


Democratic primary results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Udall (Incumbent) 113,502 100
Total votes 113,502 100
New Mexico's US Senate Election, 2014[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Udall (Incumbent) 286,409 55.56
Republican Allen Weh 229,097 44.44
Total votes 515,506 100
Democratic hold

Personal life

Udall is married to Jill Cooper Udall. They live in Santa Fe with their daughter, Amanda Cooper. Tom Udall is the son of former Arizona Congressman and Interior Secretary Stewart Lee Udall, nephew of Arizona Congressman Morris Udall, and first cousin of former Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, double second cousin of former Oregon U.S. Senator Gordon Smith,[24] and second cousin of Utah U.S. Senator Mike Lee.[25]

See also


  1. Udall
  2. "Ten things to know about Senate hopeful Rep. Tom Udall". Albuquerque Tribune. November 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  3. "Udall wins Redmond's New Mexico House seat". Associated Press. November 4, 1998. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  4. Rep. Tom Udall on resource depletion and climate change (transcript) Global Public Media, December 9, 2005, Post Carbon Institute
  5. Peak Oil: Representative Roscoe Bartlett
  6. Baker, Deborah (November 10, 2007). "New Mexico Rep. Tom Udall to seek Democratic nomination for Senate". Associated Press ( Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  7. "Key Votes by Tom Udall – page 2". The Washington Post. 
  8. "Key Votes by Tom Udall – page 3". The Washington Post. 
  9. Sargent, Greg (June 6, 2013). "We need more transparency and debate around NSA phone records program". Washington Post. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  10. "S. 611 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  11. "Chairwoman Cantwell Holds Hearing on Tribal Resources Legislation". Tulalip News. May 10, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  12. "Senate Democrats Begin Efforts to Amend Constitution". Roll Call. June 6, 2014. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Prokop, Andrew (July 10, 2014). "A Senate committee just approved a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United". Vox. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  14. "All Bill Information (Except Text) for S.697 – Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act". March 10, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  15. David McCumber (March 16, 2015). "Questions raised on authorship of chemicals bill". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 13, 2015. A Senate IT staffer told Boxer’s office, “We can confidently say that the document was created by a user with American Chemistry Council. 
  16. "Senate Committee Advances Chemical Safety Reforms". Huffington Post. April 28, 2015. 
  17. "How Best to Strengthen Chemical Regulations". The New York Times. March 18, 2015. 
  22. "New Mexico - Election Night Results - June 3rd, 2014". 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  23. "Official Results General Election - November 4, 2014". New Mexico Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  24. Udall family of Arizona at the Political Graveyard, Lawrence Kestenbaum, 2013
  25. Lee Davidson (October 24, 2010). "Senate race: Mike Lee ready to ride Senate roller coaster". The Salt Lake Tribune. 

Further reading

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Hal Stratton
Attorney General of New Mexico
Succeeded by
Patricia Madrid
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Redmond
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Ben Luján
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gloria Tristani
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Mexico
(Class 2)

2008, 2014
Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Pete Domenici
United States Senator (Class 2) from New Mexico
Served alongside: Jeff Bingaman, Martin Heinrich
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Roger Wicker
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Jeanne Shaheen