Former House of Representatives Member who represented New Mexico's 3rd District from 1999 to 2009
Former member of the Progressive Caucus
Democrat Tom Udall was born in May 1948 in Tucson, Arizona, the son of Arizona Congressman (1955-1961) and Secretary of the Interior (1961-1969) Stewart Udall. He is also the nephew of Arizona Congressman (1961-1991) Morris “Mo” Udall. And he is first cousin of Colorado Congressman Mark Udall. All his politician relatives are Democrats except for distant cousin Gordon Smith, who is a Republican U.S. Senator from Oregon.
Udall grew up first in Tucson and later in suburban Washington, DC. He earned an undergraduate degree from Prescott College in Arizona (1970), a Bachelor of Law degree from Cambridge University in England (1975), and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico (1977). He worked as Law Clerk for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1977 and as Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1978-1981.
In 1982 Udall ran for Congress in the newly created 3rd District of New Mexico but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Bill Richardson. In 1983-1984 he served as Chief Counsel for New Mexico's Health and Environment Department. And in 1988 he ran for a vacated congressional seat in the 1st District but narrowly lost to Bernalillo County District Attorney Steven Schiff.
In 1990 Udall was elected as New Mexico Attorney General, a position he would hold for eight years until he was elected to Congress. He received support in his congressional bid from the arts crowd, environmentalist groups, and powerful family friends. Udall further aided his own cause by accommodating the demands of the New Mexico Green Party, which can sway elections in that state by winning up to 10 percent of the popular vote when it actively opposes Democrats.