Mark Udall was elected to the U.S. Senate by the people of Colorado on Nov. 4, 2008, after representing the state’s second Congressional District for five terms (from 1999-2008). Prior to that, Mark served in the Colorado State Legislature as a Member of the General Assembly for one term (1997-99), representing the 13th District, which encompassed the community of Longmont and parts of southern Boulder County.
In the Senate, Mark serves on three committees and is one of a few freshman Senators chosen to lead a subcommittee. These committees include Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, and the Special Committee on Aging. Reinforcing his priority of protecting our western lands, Mark chairs the National Parks Subcommittee. His committee assignments give him a platform to address many issues important to Colorado, including national security, energy, the economy, ‘green jobs’ and natural resources.
Mark Udall is known for reaching across party lines to solve problems and for his willingness to work with people, including those with whom he has philosophical differences. His inclusive and bipartisan approach has led to a number of legislative achievements, including legislation to reduce wildfire risk and bark-beetle infestation, promoting the development of Colorado’s aerospace industry, the high technology sector and energy resources, with particular focus on renewable energy and the so-called “Green Energy Economy.” Mark also led efforts to successfully pass the James Peak Wilderness Bill and legislation transforming the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons facility into a wildlife refuge. He’s also championed health care for workers and retirees from the nation’s nuclear weapons complex and consumer protection against abusive and predatory credit card companies.
Regarded as a national leader on renewable energy, Mark worked to put Colorado at the forefront of sustainable energy development. In 2004, he successfully co-chaired the Amendment 37 campaign to pass Colorado’s first Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), which requires power companies to use more alternative energy sources. In 2007, the House of Representatives twice passed a national renewable electricity standard championed by Mark. He continues his work in the Senate to enact a national RES.
Mark Udall is also known for his efforts to develop a tough and smart national security strategy, leading legislative action to expand and strengthen the U.S Army. Moreover, he has consistently fought for programs to benefit our nation’s veterans.
The Denver Post notes that Senator Udall has a proven track record of bipartisan accomplishments. The Rocky Mountain News says, “time and again he’s reached across the political aisle to craft a compromise solution to some sticky political problem.” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel calls Mark “conscientious,” “highly capable” and “energetic.”
Mark was born on July 18, 1950, in Tucson, Arizona, but has spent his entire adult life in Colorado. After graduating from Williams College in 1972, he moved to Colorado’s western slope and began a long and successful career with the Colorado Outward Bound School, as a course director and educator from 1975-85 and as the organization’s Executive Director from 1985-95. Mark is an avid mountaineer and has climbed or attempted some of the world’s most challenging peaks, including Mt. Everest.
Senator Udall’s family is no stranger to public service. His father, Morris “Mo” Udall, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and ran for the Democratic nomination for President in 1976. His uncle, Stewart, is widely revered for his accomplishments while serving as Secretary of the Interior under U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In 2008, Mark’s cousin, Tom Udall, was elected to the Senate from New Mexico.
Mark Udall and his wife, prominent attorney and conservationist Maggie Fox, have two children: a son Jed and a daughter Tess. They live near Eldorado Springs in Boulder County.