Tom Udall

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Tom Udall
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 66)
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 Mormonism
Website Senate website

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[edit]

Udall was born in Tucson, Arizona, to Ermalee Lenora (née Webb) and Stewart Udall, the Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969. Two of his maternal great-grandparents were Swiss.[1] He attended Prescott College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970. In 1975, he graduated from the 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.

Following that graduation, Udall was a law clerk to Chief Judge Oliver Seth of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His legal career then included appointments as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal division and Chief Counsel to the New Mexico Department of Health and Environment.

Early political career[edit]

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[edit]


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 also a member of the United States House Peak Oil Caucus, which he co-founded with Representative Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland.[4][5]

Committee assignments[edit]

U.S. Senate[edit]


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.

While Udall was running for Senate in New Mexico, his younger first cousin, Congressman Mark Udall, was running for the Senate in Colorado. Their double second cousin, incumbent Gordon Smith of Oregon, was also running for reelection. Both Udalls won and Smith lost.


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]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships

Personal life[edit]

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,[14] and second cousin of Utah U.S. Senator Mike Lee.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  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. 4 November 1998. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  4. ^ Rep. Tom Udall on resource depletion and climate change (transcript) Global Public Media, December 9, 2005
  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 (6 June 2013). "We need more transparency and debate around NSA phone records program". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "S. 611 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Chairwoman Cantwell Holds Hearing on Tribal Resources Legislation". Tulalip News. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Senate Democrats Begin Efforts to Amend Constitution". Roll Call. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Prokop, Andrew (10 July 2014). "A Senate committee just approved a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United". Vox. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Udall family of Arizona at the Political Graveyard
  15. ^ Lee Davidson (October 24, 2010). "Senate race: Mike Lee ready to ride Senate roller coaster". The Salt Lake Tribune. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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