Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Keeping it all in the (Udall) family

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Originally published on on Tue, 11/11/2008 – 4:14pm

One of the forgotten yet heartwarming stories of last Tuesday night’s Election Night was the saga of the Udall cousins, and the continuation of political success for the family.

Of the three major players from Arizona to run for president, Mo Udall usually gets overlooked. Seems funny that a 6’5” former pro basketball player would get lost in the shuffle.

Udall, who served 30 years in Congress, actually replaced his brother, Stewart, who was appointed Secretary of the Interior in the Kennedy Administration.

Flash forward to the next generation: Mark (son of Mo) and Tom (son of Stewart) are the newest Senators-elect, Mark from Colorado and Tom from New Mexico.

Two U.S. Senators who are related might seem unusual, but there could have been three. Gordon Smith (R-OR) lost his re-election bid, and Smith is a relative of the Udalls. How are they related? Let’s have Wikipedia explain this connection:

Smith is also a member of the Udall political family. His mother was a cousin of the late Representatives Mo Udall (D-AZ) and Stewart Udall (D-AZ), and Smith is a second cousin of current Representatives [now Senators] Mark Udall (D-CO) and Tom Udall (D-NM). They are double second cousins, as their grandparents were a pair of brothers and a pair of sisters who intermarried.

There have been other distinct family representations in Congress. Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy were brothers and fellow U.S. Senators in the 1960s. And to pull out an unusual current Canadian example, Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party, and his wife, Olivia Chow, each represent different ridings (districts) in the House of Commons from Toronto.


Written by democracysoup

November 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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