|United States Senator|
from New Mexico
January 3, 2009
Serving with Martin Heinrich
|Ranking Member of the |
Senate Indian Affairs Committee
January 3, 2017
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Mexico's 3rd district
January 3, 1999 - January 3, 2009
|Ben Ray Luján|
|28th Attorney General of New Mexico|
January 1, 1991 - January 1, 1999
Thomas Stewart Udall
May 18, 1948
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Education||Prescott College (BA)|
Downing College, Cambridge (LLB)
University of New Mexico (JD)
Thomas Stewart Udall (born May 18, 1948) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from New Mexico, a seat he was first elected to in 2008. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district from 1999 to 2009 and was the Attorney General of New Mexico from 1991 to 1999. A member of the Udall family, he is the son of Stewart Udall, the nephew of Mo Udall, and the cousin of Mark Udall. He is the dean of New Mexico's congressional delegation.
On March 25, 2019, Udall announced that he would not seek a third term in the 2020 election, making him the first Democratic senator to announce his retirement in that election cycle.
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.[importance?]
In 1982, Udall ran for Congress in the newly created 3rd district, based in the state capital, Santa Fe, and including most of the 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 1990 to 1999 he served as Attorney General of New Mexico.
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. 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.
Udall sat 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.
In November 2007, Udall announced he would run for the Senate seat held by retiring six-term incumbent Republican Pete Domenici. Potential Democratic rival Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez dropped out, handing Udall the nomination. New Mexico's other two members of the House, 1st and 2nd 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 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.
He voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, DREAM Act,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.
On March 25, 2019, Udall announced that he would not run for reelection in 2020.
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.
Also during the 113th Congress, Udall introduced a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would reverse Citizens United and allow limits on outside spending in support of political candidates. The Amendment won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 vote in July 2014.
In March 2015 Udall sponsored Senate bill 697, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, a bill to amend and reauthorize the Toxic Substances Control Act. The legislation, as amended, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2016. It updates the nation's safety system for thousands of chemicals in products like cleaners, paints, carpets and furniture. The bill initially faced criticism over the balance between federal and state authority to regulate chemicals, but after changes to the legislation it earned broader support, including from liberal members of the Senate and the President. It passed by a vote of 403-12 in the House and voice vote in the Senate.
In March 2019, he and Rand Paul co-sponsored the bipartisan AFGHAN Service Act to compensate members of the armed forces and repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists at the end of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
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In 2016, within weeks of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Udall participated in a sit-in at the House to demand votes on gun control legislation, saying, "We owe it to the LGBT community & all families harmed by gun violence to keep terror suspects fr[om] obtaining guns."
Since he was first elected to Congress in 1998, Udall has taken a leadership role on a wide array of environmental issues, receiving a lifetime score of 96% from the League of Conservation Voters. He was one of the original co-sponsors of the Arctic Wilderness Bill, and more recently has worked closely with the Navajo and Pueblo nations in New Mexico to oppose new leasing, drilling and fracking near Chaco Canyon National Park. In 2018 Udall received the Sierra Club's top award for public officials, the Edgar Wayburn Award.
In September 2019 Udall was one of eight senators to sign a bipartisan letter to congressional leadership requesting full and lasting funding of the Land and Water Conservation Act in order to aid national parks and public lands, benefit the $887 billion American outdoor recreation economy, and "ensure much-needed investment in our public lands and continuity for the state, tribal, and non-federal partners who depend on them."
|New Mexico Attorney General Democratic primary election, 1990|
|New Mexico Attorney General election, 1990|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|New Mexico Attorney General election, 1994|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (Incumbent)||277,225||60.92||-6.67|
|Republican||Donald Bruckner, Jr.||177,822||39.08||+6.67|
|New Mexico's 3rd congressional district Democratic primary election, 1998|
|Democratic||Roman Maes, III||4,382||5.93|
|New Mexico's 3rd congressional district election, 1998|
|Republican||Bill Redmond (Incumbent)||74,266||43.27|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|New Mexico's 3rd congressional district election, 2000|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (Incumbent)||135,040||67.18||+14.02|
|New Mexico's 3rd congressional district election, 2002|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (Incumbent)||122,921||100.00||+32.82|
|New Mexico's 3rd congressional district election, 2004|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (Incumbent)||175,269||68.68||-31.32|
|New Mexico's 3rd congressional district election, 2006|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (incumbent)||144,880||74.64||+5.96|
|Democratic gain from Republican||Swing|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (Incumbent)||113,502||100|
|Democratic||Tom Udall (Incumbent)||286,409||55.56|
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, and second cousin of Utah U.S. Senator Mike Lee.
| Attorney General of New Mexico
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico's 3rd congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Mexico
| United States Senator (Class 2) from New Mexico
Served alongside: Jeff Bingaman, Martin Heinrich
| Ranking Member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee|
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Senators by seniority