Mark Udall

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Mark Udall
MarkUdall-Senate Portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Colorado
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Serving with Michael Bennet
Preceded by Wayne Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by David Skaggs
Succeeded by Jared Polis
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 13th district
In office
Preceded by Peggy Lamm
Succeeded by Tom Plant[1]
Personal details
Born Mark Emery Udall
(1950-07-18) July 18, 1950 (age 64)
Tucson, Arizona
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Maggie L. Fox
Residence Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Alma mater Williams College (B. A.)
Occupation teacher
Religion Raised Presbyterian;[2]
currently unspecified

Mark Emery Udall (born July 18, 1950) is the senior United States Senator from Colorado and a member of the Democratic Party. From 1999 to 2009, Udall served in the United States House of Representatives, representing Colorado's 2nd congressional district. He also previously served in the Colorado House of Representatives. Born in Tucson, Arizona, he is the son of former U. S. Representative Morris "Mo" Udall. The Udall family is one of America's more prolific political families.

Early life, education, and teaching career[edit]

Mark Udall was born in Tucson, Arizona, and is the son of Patricia J. (née Emery) and the late Morris "Mo" Udall, a former congressman from Arizona and candidate for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. He is a first cousin of Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico; a second cousin of Senator Mike Lee of Utah;[3] and a double second cousin of former Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon. He is also the nephew of former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall.

Mark Udall graduated in 1968 from Canyon del Oro High School. He later graduated from Williams College in 1972 and moved to Colorado. He worked at the Colorado Outward Bound School for 20 years, including ten years as the school's executive director.

In 1972, Udall was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. He served a night in jail and paid a $300 fine.[4]

In 1996, Mark Udall was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, vacated by incumbent Peggy Lamm.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Congressman Udall


After only one term in the Colorado House of Representatives, in 1998 Udall won the Democratic nomination for Colorado's 2nd congressional district, after 12-year incumbent David Skaggs retired. The race was unexpectedly close, with Udall narrowly defeating Republican Boulder, Colorado Mayor, Bob Greenlee, winning 50%-48%. He won re-election four times without significant competition.


Udall has stated that he has opposed the Patriot Act since it was first initiated.[6]

Udall voted for the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007, which would have eliminated the secret ballot in voting to unionize businesses.[7]

In 2000, Udall and Republican Senator Wayne Allard proposed transforming Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons production site, into a wildlife refuge, setting aside 6,400 acres (25 km²) after cleanup and closure. The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act passed in 2001.[8]

Udall was part of the bipartisan effort of all Colorado delegates to address the problems caused by the pine beetle infestation in Colorado's forestlands.[9]

In 2012, Udall was awarded the George E. Brown Jr. Science, Technology and Engineering Leadership Award by the Science, Engineering, Technology Working Group, a coalition including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Physics.[10][dead link]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus membership
  • Congressional Fitness Caucus (Co-chair)
  • Democratic Freshman Class (Vice President)
  • Democratic Homeland Security Task Force
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus (Co-chair)[12][13]

U.S. Senate[edit]


On January 15, 2007, incumbent Senator Wayne Allard announced he would not run for a third term. Udall became the Democratic nominee for the race after running unopposed in the primary. In the general election, Udall faced former U.S. Representative Republican Bob Schaffer in what was considered one of the most competitive races in the country.

By August 28, 2008, over $10 million had been spent on attack ads against Udall by political parties and political action committees, an amount higher than in any other U.S. Senate race.[14] Udall and Schaffer appeared on Meet the Press's Senate Debate series on September 28, discussing the proposed bailout of the U.S. financial system.[15]

Mark Udall campaigning in Denver in June, 2008.

Udall's first cousin, U.S. Representative Tom Udall, ran for and won the U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico left open by the retirement of Pete Domenici. Including their double second cousin, Senator Gordon Smith; there were three Udalls running in Senate elections in 2008. Smith in Oregon was narrowly defeated in his bid for a third term.[16]

On election day, Udall defeated Schaffer, winning 53% of the vote.[17]

Udall will run for a second Senate term in the 2014 election.


On February 13, 2009, Udall voted to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly referred to as The Stimulus or The Recovery Act).[18]

In December 2009, Udall voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act).[19][20]

In December 2010, he was one of seven Democrats to vote against a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years as well as fund unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months.[21]

In November 2011, Udall introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that would forbid indefinite detention of United States citizens; the amendment was rejected by the Senate.[22][23]

On April 17, 2013, Udall voted to expand background checks for gun purchases.[24][25]

In July 2014, Udall joined with Senator Ron Wyden in releasing a statement opposing the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a revived version of the controversial CISPA bill. [26][27] They were two of three dissenting votes on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Udall opposes the Keystone XL pipeline and has voted against it repeatedly.[28]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships
  • Congressional Fitness Caucus
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Parkinson’s Disease Caucus (Co-chair)
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Sportsmen's Caucus

Electoral history[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Udall is a 5th generation Westerner, and currently lives in Eldorado Springs with his wife and two children, one of whom played on the women's varsity volleyball team at University of Virginia between 2008-2012.[29] Udall is a mountaineer, and has climbed or attempted many peaks, including Mount Everest.[30][31]

Udall's 61-year-old brother, Randy Udall, went missing on June 26, 2013 after going on a solo hike in Wyoming's Wind River Range.[32] On July 3, 2013 a body which was later identified as Randy's was found approximately 80 miles southeast of Grand Teton National Park. A family statement said, "Randy left this earth doing what he loved most: hiking in his most favorite mountain range in the world. Randy's passing is a reminder to all of us to live every day to its fullest, just as he did."[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ pdf
  2. ^ Bartels, Lynn. "Pasts cross for Udall, Mitt", The Rocky Mountain News, December 26, 2007.
  3. ^ Lee Davidson (October 24, 2010). "Senate race: Mike Lee ready to ride Senate roller coaster". The Salt Lake Tribune. 
  4. ^ Michael Riley (September 11, 2008). "Ad blows smoke a variety of ways". The Denver Post. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Johnson, Glenn, "House Extends Patriot Act; N.M. Delegates Split on Bill," ABQ Journal, 22 July 2005: [1].
  7. ^ Al Eisele (11 April 2009). "Mark Udall: High Noon in the Senate". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ex-FBI agent charges feds with radioactive coverup at Rocky Flats". Grist. 2005-01-22. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sen. Udall sponsors bill to attack pine beetles". Seattle Times. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Project Vote Smart - Senator Mark E. Udall - *Biography
  13. ^ US House of Representatives Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus | Union of Concerned Scientists
  14. ^ Riley, Michael (September 24, 2008). "Attack ads fail to shift Udall's lead". Denver Post. 
  15. ^ Senate candidates debate the bailout Meet the Press, September 28, 2008, video
  16. ^ "Local and National Election Results - Election Center 2008 - Elections & Politics from". CNN. 
  17. ^ Daily Kos. Electoral Scoreboard
  18. ^ "Stimulus package nears OK in Senate". Denver Post. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  20. ^ Lynn Bartels (7 July 2013). "GOP challengers for Sen. Mark Udall's seat face big challenges". Denver Post. 
  21. ^ "Mark Udall Votes 'No' On Tax Deal". Huffington Post. 13 December 2010. 
  22. ^ Khaki, Ategah, "Senate Rejects Amendment Banning Indefinite Detention," ACLU Blog of Rights, 29 November 2011: [2].
  23. ^ Savage, Charlie, "Senate Declines to Clarify Rights of American Qaeda Suspects Arrested in U.S.," The New York Times, 1 December 2001:[3].
  24. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  25. ^ Chuck Todd (18 April 2013). "Why the gun measure went down to defeat". NBC News. 
  26. ^ "Wyden, Udall Oppose Cybersecurity Bill Due to Lack of Privacy Protections". 8 July 2014. 
  27. ^ Jason Koebler (9 July 2014). "CISPA's Privacy-Killing Successor Just Cleared Its First Hurdle". Vice. 
  28. ^ Lynn Bartels (12 June 2014). "Mark Udall's position on Keystone back in limelight". Denver Post. 
  29. ^ "Tess Udall". University of Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site. University of Virginia. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  30. ^ "Congressman Mark Udall - Biography". Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  31. ^ Sen. Mark Udall Conquered Many Mountains Before Climbing Capitol Hill
  32. ^ "Sen. Mark Udall's brother, James, missing after hiking in Wyoming". UPI. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "Body of Colorado senator's brother found on Wyoming hiking route". USA Today. July 3, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David E. Skaggs
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Jared Polis
United States Senate
Preceded by
Wayne Allard
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
January 3, 2009 – present
Served alongside: Ken Salazar, Michael Bennet
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Strickland
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Colorado (Class 2)
2008, 2014
Current holder
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Roger Wicker
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Udall
D-New Mexico