Mark Udall, U.S. Senator

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Mark Emery Udall

Immediate Family:

Son of Morris King Udall and Patricia J. Udall
Husband of <private> Fox
Father of <private> Udall and <private> Udall
Brother of Randolph Udall

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Immediate Family

About Mark Udall, U.S. Senator

Mark Emery Udall (born July 18, 1950) is an American politician who was a United States Senator from Colorado from 2009 to 2015. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives, representing Colorado's 2nd congressional district. Prior to being elected to Congress, he represented parts of Boulder, Colorado in the Colorado House of Representatives.

A member of the Democratic Party, throughout his career he has proposed legislation to support renewable energy, expand national parks, and protect natural resources. Born in Tucson, Arizona, he is the son of former U.S. Representative Morris "Mo" Udall. A member of the Udall family, a western American political family, his relatives include New Mexico's Tom Udall and Utah's Mike Lee. Udall ran in 2014 for a second term in the U.S. Senate, but was defeated by Republican Cory Gardner.

Early life

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. 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 Rocky Mountain News that he had pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in 1972, and served a year's probation.

U.S. House of Representatives


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.

Legislative accomplishments

In 2000, a proposal led by Democratic Congressman Mark Udall and Republican Senator Wayne Allard, proposed transforming Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons production site, into a wildlife refuge, setting aside 6,400 acres (25 km²) after cleanup and closure. The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act passed in 2001.

Amendment 37: Mark Udall championed the effort to pass Amendment 37, a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard that requires an increase in the production of energy by renewable energy sources of 20% by 2020. Voters overwhelmingly supported Amendment 37 in 2004 and it was the first RES to be passed by voters as opposed to legislators.

Mark Udall was part of the bipartisan effort of all Colorado delegates that proposed and passed a bill to improve the ability of the government to address the problems caused by the pine beetle infestation in Colorado's forestlands. It is estimated that all mature lodgepole pines could be decimated by 2010 if action is not taken.

Mark Udall secured $19 million in research and development funding for Colorado defense companies. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) worked together to successfully pass legislation that would provide funding to school districts to replace older diesel buses that used renewable sources of energy, such as compressed natural gas or electricity.

Mark Udall re-introduced H.R. 595, the Stimulating Leadership in Cutting Expenditures (SLICE) Act, in January 2007 with the support of representatives including Jeff Flake and Tim Ryan. This Act would allow the President to identify specific items of federal spending that he thinks should be cut from appropriation bills and then require Congress to vote on each of those items individually. The goal would be to reduce the amount of federal money that goes to congressional earmarks.

Mark Udall co-authored legislation with Republican Representative Frank Wolf that promoted a 'responsible' redeployment strategy in Iraq.

U.S. Senate

2008 election

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.

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Mark Udall, U.S. Senator's Timeline

July 18, 1950