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Candidate Profile from Congressional Quarterly

Mark Udall (D) of Boulder
Open Seat
  • Born: July 18, 1950, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Education: Williams College, B.A., 1972.
  • Military Service: None.
  • Occupation: Colo. Outward Bound executive director.
  • Family: Wife, Margaret Fox; two children.
  • Religion: Unspecified.
  • Political Career: Colo. House, 1997-present.

Tuesday night did not give Udall his first taste of a congressional victory. As an 11-year-old, Udall remembers, he was rousted from sleep to join his five pajama-clad siblings to celebrate their father's first House victory.

Former Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz. (1961-91), is too ill with Parkinson's disease to offer advice to his son, but the younger Udall has promised to follow his father's example as an environmentally friendly Democratic loyalist.

Udall overcame criticism that his two years as a state representative were insufficient preparation for Congress. In response, he said that a decade running the Colorado Outward Bound School had given him ample expertise to work on federal preservation policies.

He is expected to compile a voting record similar to his predecessor, David E. Skaggs a largely liberal and reliably Democratic voice for a decade. Udall says he will support abortion rights and federal arts subsidies, for example, and would oppose GOP efforts to turn most federal education funding into block grants for the states.

He says his main aim in the House, however, will be to help control urban sprawl in the West. He hopes to gain a seat on the Resources Committee.

In the state House, Udall introduced bills to promote renewable energy sources. He would like to create federal tax breaks for use of such fuels and is pushing for a cleanup of the former Rocky Flats nuclear plant in his district, now a superfund site. He said he supports the Kyoto treaty on global warming, a distinct minority view in the 105th Congress. If he does get a seat on the Resources Committee, Udall will be a member to watch.


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