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Posted 19 Nov 2001   For week ended November 16, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 16Nov01

By Paul Carter

Et Tu, Udall? Political Drama with Two Udalls Possible

PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- Members of the Udall family, four times, have been ushered onto the national political stage, with the actors always having entered from stage left--the Democratic party. Two were in Arizona: Morris and Stewart Udall. A son each of Morris and Stewart currently serves in the US House from Colorado and New Mexico respectively.

The recent political redistricting based on the 2000 US Census has created a new US House of Representatives district in Arizona. As this new stage is being set for its first election drama to unfold, that of the primary candidates declaring their intentions to run, the plot could perhaps see the two leading characters/final candidates both coming from the Udall family, with each entering the stage from opposite sides.

Entering from Stage Left: Steve Udall, 59, currently the Apache County attorney, is contemplating running for the new House Seat. As a Democrat, he follows the political loyalties of all the Udalls previously elected as US Representatives. Steve, the son of Sherwood Udall who is a first cousin of Morris and Stewart, believes the new district will send a Democrat to Washington. "This is a new district with no incumbent and no Phoenix Valley (predominantly a Republican stronghold.) That looks a lot better for me."

In the wings of Stage Right: Chris Udall, 39, a Field Director for Republican Arizona US Representative J.D. Hayworth. Chris' father is Richard Udall who is a second cousin to Morris and Stewart. Chris Udall is considering forming an exploratory committee to determine his prospects in the new district. "I need to make a decision soon," he says.

When told by a reporter that cousin Steve was considering running for the same position, Chris said that he hadn't been aware of the possible Udall vs. Udall final election possibility. Explained Chris, "I've worked with him on several issues, but I don't associate with him a heck of a lot, so I guess that's not too surprising."

No candidates have declared yet and the cast of potential candidates has both parties preparing for crowded primaries. Thus, the possibility that the final act will offer a showdown between two Udalls is far from certain. The prospect is offering the Arizona media an opportunity to explore the political and historical underpinnings of the Udall family and review the roles that Udalls have played in the state.

Chris Udall, the Republican, has said, "I'm told by Mark and Tom that there are more conservative Udalls than Democratic Udalls. The Udall name is always attached to the Democratic Party, when it really goes both ways."

In addition to national politics, Udalls have served in Arizona on the State Supreme Court, a clerk of the Superior Court, mayor of Phoenix.


Udall vs. Udall May Take Place in Arizona;
Roll Call 29Oct01 T2
Cousins Steve (D) and Chris (R) Udall Both Eyeing New 1st District


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