Thomas Stewart "Tom" Udall (born May 18, 1948) is the junior United States Senator from New Mexico and a member of the Democratic Party. He had represented New Mexico's 3rd congressional district as a member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999. Udall was elected as the junior United States senator from New Mexico on November 4, 2008, defeating Congressman Steve Pearce. He is expected to become the state's senior senator when Jeff Bingaman retires from the Senate in January 2013.
Tom Udall was born in Tucson, Arizona. He attended Prescott College, graduating with a pre-law degree in 1970. In 1975, he graduated from Cambridge University 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. After graduating, Udall was Law Clerk to Chief Judge Oliver Seth of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. His legal career then included appointments as Assistant US Attorney in the criminal division and Chief Counsel to the Department of Health and Environment. A partnership followed in the Miller Law Firm. He is the son of Stewart Udall, who was Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, nephew of Arizona Congressman Morris Udall, and first cousin of Colorado Senator Mark Udall, double second cousin of former Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, and second cousin of Utah Senator Mike Lee.He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1982, Udall ran for Congress in the newly-created 3rd District, but lost the Democratic primary to Bill Richardson.
He ran for Congress again in the 1st District for the seat left open by retiring 20-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.
U.S. House of Representatives
Udall ran for Congress again in 1998 in the 3rd District against 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 was enough for Udall to defeat Redmond with 53 % of the vote to Redmond's 43 percent. Udall never faced another close contest, and was reelected four times, including a completely unopposed run in 2002. He won a fifth term in the 2006 midterm elections he was reelected with 75 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Ron Dolin.
As a U.S. Representative, Tom Udall belonged to 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.
In November 2007 he announced he would give up his congressional seat to run in the 2008 Senate election in New Mexico to replace Pete Domenici, who was retiring. Pearce won the Republican nomination, and lost to Udall in November 2008 elections. Democrat Ben R. Luján went on to win Udall's House seat. Tom Udall won his Senate race with 61% of the vote.
August 10th, 2011