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
Children Jed Udall
Tess Udall
Residence Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Alma mater Williams College (B.A.)
Occupation Outward Bound instructor
Religion Unaffiliated[2][3]

Mark Emery Udall (born July 18, 1950) is an American politician and the senior United States Senator from Colorado. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2009, when he took his seat in the Senate. Prior to being elected to the United States Congress he served in the Colorado House of Representatives.

Born in Tucson, Arizona, he is the son of former U.S. Representative from Arizona Morris "Mo" Udall, and cousin of current New Mexico U.S. Senator Tom Udall. He is a member of the Udall family, an American political family sometimes referred to the "Kennedy's of the West."[4]

Family, early life, and education[edit]

The Blue Peter nautical flag which indicates a vessel is "Outward Bound" is used as the program's symbol.
See also: Udall family

Mark Udall was born in Tucson, Arizona to Patricia J. (née Emery) and Morris "Mo" Udall, the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 2nd congressional district from 1961 to 1991, and candidate for the 1976 Democratic nominee for President. Udall attended and graduated from Canyon del Oro High School in 1968, where he was elected student body president. An avid golfer, Udall won the Arizona State Golf Championship Boy's division in 1968.[5] and has since become known as one of Congress' best players.[6]

Udall later graduated from Williams College in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in American civilization.[7] In 1976 Udall worked as a field coordinator for his father's campaign to win the Democratic nomination against Jimmy Carter.[8]

After college, Udall moved to Colorado and began his career with Outward Bound, a non-profit outdoor education organization.[9][10] For 10 years Udall work as a course director, in which he would bring patrons on outdoor expeditions. After, Udall served as Outward Bound's Executive Director for 10 years, after which Udall decided to retire, completing his 20 year career with Outward Bound.[11]

Colorado House of Representatives[edit]

In 1996, Udall was encouraged to run for the Colorado House of Representatives by Peggy Lamm of the 13th district, who had decided to retire.[12] After running a grassroots campaign in the swing district, Udall narrowly defeated Republican Drew Bolin to represent the Longmont and Boulder district.[13] During his two years in office, Udall served on the Judiciary and Agriculture Livestock & Natural Resources Committees. While in office he introduced 12 bills, many of which related to conservation and animal abuse.[14] Udall chose not to run for re-election, instead decided to run for the United States Congress. He was succeeded by fellow Democrat, Tom Plant.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


After one term in the Colorado House of Representatives, Udall opted to run Colorado's 2nd congressional district, which was being vacated by incumbent David Skaggs. Udall ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, and faced the Republican nominee, Boulder, Colorado Mayor Bob Greenlee in the general election. The race was unexpectedly close, with Udall narrowly winning, 49-47%. Udall was consecutively elected to 5-terms in the House, without major opposition. He was eventually succeeded by Jared Polis, after he decided to run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican, Wayne Allard.

U.S. Senate[edit]



In 2004, Udall announced his candidacy for the Senate seat which was being vacated by Ben Nighthorse Campbell. However, the following day Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar announced his candidacy as well, leading Udall to bow out and endorse Salazar the following day.[15]


On January 15, 2007, incumbent Senator Wayne Allard announced he would not run for a third term.[16] Later that year, in April Udall announced his campaign for the Senate.[17] Udall became the Democratic nominee for the race after running unopposed in the primary.[18] In the general election, Udall faced former U.S. Representative Republican Bob Schaffer.

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 Senate race that year.[19] 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.[20] The race was especially competitive, with Democrats wanting to expand their majority as much as possible due to that year's presidential election.[21]

While both CQ Politics[22] and The Rothenberg Political Report[23] estimated Udall would win, and The Cook Political Report considered it a 'Toss Up,'[24] Udall maintained a steady lead in the polls, but with neither candidate usually topping 50%.[25] Udall described the race as "the toughest climb I've ever taken."[21] On November 4, Udall won the election with 52% of the vote.


Udall is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in the 2014 election. Udall will face Republican U.S. Representative Cory Gardner in the general election.

In February 2014, Udall's campaign received a lien from the state of Colorado for failure to pay unemployment insurance.[26]

In July 2014, President Obama headlined a fundraiser for Udall's campaign.[27]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]


Udall has repeatedly voted against the Keystone XL pipeline, having said that he wants to wait until a technical review of the project by the State Department is complete.[28]

In July 2014, he came out against two ballot measures that seek to limit hydraulic fracturing, saying that Colorado must find "the right balance between protecting our clean air and water, the health of our communities, and safely developing our abundant energy resources."[29]


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).[30]

In December 2010, Udall 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, having stated, "Days after the most substantive national conversation we've had about addressing the debt, the debate suddenly has turned to extending tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires that — alone — will cost $700 billion over the next decade."[31]

Gun rights[edit]

On April 17, 2013, Udall voted to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment did not pass.[32][33]


In 2009, Udall sponsored a bill to address problems caused by the pine beetle infestation in Colorado's forests.[34]

Health policy[edit]

In December 2009, Udall voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[35][36]

In November 2013, Udall was critical of the Colorado Division of Insurance concerning the Division's estimates of the number of Colorado residents whose medical insurance was cancelled in response to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.[37][38] Udall's office wanted the Division to lower the number from 250,000 because it believed the majority of individuals counted had received renewal options. The Division refused to change the numbers. Administrators at the Colorado Division of Insurance said they felt pressured by members of Udall's staff to change their estimates of policy cancellations.[39]

A panel which investigated the matter concluded Udall's office behaved appropriately. The investigation was criticized because the chair was appointed by Democratic governor John Hickenlooper; all other members of the panel were selected by the chair. The chair initially refused to name the other members of the panel, and no written records were created during its investigation.[38]


Udall has supported PRISM, a clandestine anti-terrorism mass electronic surveillance data mining program launched in 2007 by the National Security Agency (NSA); however, he has also expressed support for introduction of measures to reform and limit the scope of the Patriot Act; 'The Patriot Act should be reformed so Americans’ phone records do not get indiscriminately swept up in a federal government database.'[40]

In July 2014, Udall voted against the CISPA bill, a proposed law which would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies.[41]


He voted for the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007, which would have eliminated the secret ballot in voting to unionize businesses.[42]


In February 2014, Udall voted for the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, a $1 trillion bill that ended direct payments to farmers but expanded crop insurance by $7 billion over the next decade, and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in if or when prices drop, and cut food stamp subsidies for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[43][44]

Personal life[edit]

In 1972, Udall was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. He served a night in jail and paid a $300 fine.[45]

Udall is married to Maggie Fox, a prominent environmental lawyer and indian scholar, she previously served as CEO of The Climate Reality Project.[46] The two met while working at Outward Bound, and were married in 1982.[4][12] Together the two have two children, Jed and Tess.[11]

An experienced mountaineer, Udall has climbed many peaks, including Mount Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas, Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, and Mount Everest.[47][48][10]

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.[49] On July 3, 2013 a body, later identified as that of Randy Udall, was found approximately 80 miles southeast of Grand Teton National Park.[50]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office District Democrat Republican
1996 Colorado House of Representatives 13th District Mark Udall 50% Drew Bolin 45%
1998 U.S. House of Representatives Colorado's 2nd District Mark Udall 49% Bob Greenlee 47%
2000 U.S. House of Representatives Colorado's 2nd District Mark Udall 55% Carolyn Cox 38%
2002 U.S. House of Representatives Colorado's 2nd District Mark Udall 61% Sandy Hume 37%
2004 U.S. House of Representatives Colorado's 2nd District Mark Udall 67% Stephen Hackman 30%
2006 U.S. House of Representatives Colorado's 2nd District Mark Udall 68% Rich Mancuso 28%
2008 U.S. Senate Colorado Mark Udall 52% Bob Schaffer 42%
2014 U.S. Senate Colorado Mark Udall Cory Gardner

See also[edit]


  1. ^ pdf
  2. ^ University of North Carolina Wilmington (December 11, 2006). "New Congress Brings With It Religious Firsts". 
  3. ^ Jonathan Tilove (January 7, 2007). "Congress' religion: Not so old-time now". 
  4. ^ a b Carol S. Hook]] (November 5, 2008). "10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mark Udall". U.S. News. 
  5. ^ "Boys Golf Medalists". Arizona Interscholastic Association. 
  6. ^ Dashiell Bennett (May 10, 2011). "The Top 10 Golfers In Congress". Business Insider. 
  7. ^ Lynn Bartels (October 4, 2014). "Sen. Mark Udall's accomplishments are an issue in tough re-election". Denver Post. >
  8. ^ "Senate Biography". United States Congress. 
  9. ^ {{cite news|url=[[United States Senate|title=About Mark Udall}}
  10. ^ a b Jonathan Easley (October 11, 2011). "Sen. Mark Udall Conquered Many Mountains Before Climbing Capitol Hill". Roll Call. 
  11. ^ a b "Race Tracker-Mark Udall". National Journal. 
  12. ^ a b Bill Gifford (November, 2008). "Mark Udall's Toughest Climb". Men's Journal.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ a b "The Ciruli View". Ciruli Associates. October, 1998.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Legislator Record". Colorado General Assembly. 
  15. ^ Jody Hope Strogoff (January 8, 2010). "Political whirlwind harks back to '04". The Colorado Statesman. 
  16. ^ "Report: Sen. Allard won't seek 3rd term". Associated Press. January 15, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2007-01-15.  Unknown parameter |authoe= ignored (help)
  17. ^ Gregory Vadala (May 2, 2007). "Race to Succeed Senate-Bidding Colorado Rep. Udall Already Getting Crowded". New York Times. 
  18. ^ Hook, Carol (11-4-08). "Fact Sheet: Mark Udall Vs. Bob Schaffer for Colorado's U.S. Senate Seat". US News. Retrieved 11 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ Riley, Michael (September 24, 2008). "Attack ads fail to shift Udall's lead". Denver Post. 
  20. ^ "Senate candidates debate the bailout",, Meet the Press, September 28, 2008 (video)
  21. ^ a b Emily Bazar (November 5, 2008). "Obama wins Colo.; Democrat Udall wins senate seat". USA Today. 
  22. ^ "Race Ratings Chart: Senate". CQ Politics. 
  23. ^ 2008 "Senate Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. 2008-09-29. 
  24. ^ "2008 Senate Race Ratings". The Cook Political Report. 2008-10-09. 
  25. ^ Michael Riley (September 24, 2008). "Attack ads fail to shift Udall's lead". Denver Post. 
  26. ^ Bartels, Lynn (March 20, 2014). "Sen. Mark Udall: A lien, an endorsement, and an emoji". Denver Post. 
  27. ^ Matthews, Mark (7-6-14). "Obama fundraiser for Udall to attract cash, criticism". Denver Post. Retrieved 13 October 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  28. ^ Lynn Bartels (June 12, 2014). "Mark Udall's position on Keystone back in limelight". Denver Post. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  29. ^ "". CBS Denver. September 6, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Stimulus package nears OK in Senate". Denver Post. February 10, 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Mark Udall Votes 'No' On Tax Deal". Huffington Post. December 13, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  32. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  33. ^ Chuck Todd (April 18, 2013). "Why the gun measure went down to defeat". NBC News. 
  34. ^ "Sen. Udall sponsors bill to attack pine beetles". Seattle Times. 2009-11-23. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  35. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  36. ^ Lynn Bartels (July 7, 2013). "GOP challengers for Sen. Mark Udall's seat face big challenges". Denver Post. 
  37. ^ "Colorado regulators fail to provide info on panel in Sen. Udall ACA flap",; accessed July 30, 2014.
  38. ^ a b "DORA official reverses course, names panelists in Udall ACA flap",; accessed July 30, 2014.
  39. ^ Sherry, Allison; Booth, Michael (January 9, 2014). "Colorado official felt pressure from Udall office on Obamacare tally". The Denver Post. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  40. ^ Sherry, Allison (2013-07-28). "Sen. Mark Udall urges Patriot Act reform on Face the Nation". Denver Post. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  41. ^ Jason Koebler (July 9, 2014). "CISPA's Privacy-Killing Successor Just Cleared Its First Hurdle". Vice. 
  42. ^ Al Eisele (April 11, 2009). "Mark Udall: High Noon in the Senate". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  43. ^ Sherry, Allison (2-5-14). "Farm bill passes, will benefit Colorado farmers, counties". Denver Post. Retrieved 11 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  44. ^ Nixon, Ron (2-4-14). "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers". New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  45. ^ Michael Riley (September 11, 2008). "Ad blows smoke a variety of ways". The Denver Post. 
  46. ^ Kerric Harvey. Encyclopedia of social media and politics 1. p. 1295. 
  47. ^ "Congressman Mark Udall biodata at". Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  48. ^ Sen. Mark Udall Conquered Many Mountains Before Climbing Capitol Hill,; accessed July 30, 2014.
  49. ^ "Sen. Mark Udall's brother, James, missing after hiking in Wyoming". UPI. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  50. ^ "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