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 served a term 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. Mark Udall 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. He was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1996. After one term he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served five terms and worked on energy and national resources. Udall won a competitive election for the U.S. Senate in 2008, defeating Republican challenger Bob Schaffer. He chairs the Senate Energy Subcommittee on National Parks. Udall is a prolific mountaineer and was featured in Men's Journal magazine for his athletic abilities.
Mark was born in Tucson, Arizona and is the son of Morris "Mo" Udall, a former congressman from Arizona and candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976. He is a first cousin of Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, a second cousin of Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and a double second cousin of former Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon. Rocky Mountain News that he had pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in 1972, and served a year's probation.
He is also the nephew of former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall. The Udall family is one of America's more prolific political families. Mark Udall graduated from Canyon del Oro High School, located in the Tucson suburb of Oro Valley in 1968. He graduated from Williams College in 1972 and moved to Colorado. He was an instructor, course director and program director with the Colorado Outward Bound School for 20 years, serving as a program director for 10 years from 1975–1985 and as executive director from 1985-1995. Udall is a 5th generation Westerner and currently lives in Eldorado Springs, a suburb of Boulder, with his wife and two children, one of whom is on the women's varsity volleyball team at University of Virginia. He is an enthusiastic outdoorsman and enjoys skiing, golfing, hiking and camping. An avid mountaineer, he has climbed all 14ers (54 mountains in Colorado with peaks above 14,000 feet elevation) and attempted some of the world's most challenging peaks, including Mt. Everest. He was featured in Men's Journal Magazine, which touted his athletic abilities. In January 2008, Udall acknowledged to the
In 1996, Mark Udall was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, vacated by incumbent Peggy Lamm, the sister-in-law to former Governor Richard Lamm and Dottie Lamm, the 1998 Democratic U.S. Senate candidate. After only one term, Udall won the Democratic nomination for the 2nd District in 1998 after 12-year incumbent David Skaggs retired. The race was unexpectedly close, with Udall only defeating Boulder's Republican Mayor, Bob Greenlee, by 50% to 48%. He easily won reelection four times thereafter.
He is co-chair of the Congressional Fitness Caucus, Vice President of the Democratic Freshman Class, on the Democratic Homeland Security Task Force and Co-chair of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.
Udall has always touted his commitment to working for bipartisanship in Congress. On his campaign website, he discusses his advocacy for the environment and development of alternative fuels. He is a strong supporter of the U.S. military and military-related industries, including the development of new jobs in the aerospace field. He has also stated that he has opposed the Patriot Act since it was first initiated.
On January 15, 2007, Senator Wayne Allard announced he would not run for a third term. Mark Udall ran unopposed in the primary election and was chosen as the Democratic nominee for the race, running against Republican former U.S. Representative Bob Schaffer. The Colorado U.S. Senate race became one of the most competitive races in the country. As of August 28, 2008, over $10 million had been spent on so-called attack ads against Udall by political parties and independent issues group; more than any other Senate race in the US. Udall's campaign responded by creating a website that addresses the claims in those ads.
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 (R-NM). 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.On September 28, 2008, Udall and Schaffer appeared on Meet the Press's Senate Debate series, discussing the proposed bailout of the U.S. financial system.On election day, Udall defeated Schaffer by a 53% to 43% margin.
August 10th, 2011