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Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico will not seek re-election

ABC News logo ABC News 3/25/2019
Tom Udall wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Tom Udall leaves the Senate Democrats' policy lunch, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington, DC. © Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call,Inc. via Getty Images, FILE Sen. Tom Udall leaves the Senate Democrats' policy lunch, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2020.

Udall is currently in the midst of his second, six-year term in the Senate. He previously spent 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and worked for eight as New Mexico's attorney general. He is the only currently serving member of the Udall political dynasty that spans over a century.

In a blog post, the senator explained that during his first Senate campaign in 2008, he promised he would "give my all for the people of New Mexico" and that the seat was "not my seat. It is New Mexico’s seat."

"The worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent," Udall continues. "That’s why I’m announcing today that I won’t be seeking re-election next year."

Though the senator maintained that he is "confident that we could run a strong campaign next year to earn a third term," he is interested in different ways to serve New Mexico and the nation and added that he is "certainly not retiring."

(MORE: Udall political dynasty includes cabinet secretary, senators, representatives)

"In fact, I see these next two years as an incredible opportunity," Udall writes. "Without the distraction of another campaign, I can get so much more done to help reverse the damage done to our planet, end the scourge of war, and to stop this president’s assault on our democracy and our communities.

The 70-year-old's political career started amid a blue wave that accompanied President Barack Obama's election to the White House in 2008. During that cycle, both he and his cousin Mark won Senate seats. Mark Udall represented Colorado for one term before his defeat at the hands of Republican Cory Gardner in 2014.

(MORE: U.S. Senate candidate gets boost from 'Game of Thrones' author)

In addition to Tom and Mark Udall, Tom Udall's father Stewart Udall was a congressman-turned-Interior secretary and uncle Mo Udall was also a congressman. Udalls have also served as mayor of Phoenix, in the Arizona state legislature and on the Arizona Supreme Court, among other positions.

New Mexico has trended blue in recent statewide elections, having voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the last three elections and six of the last seven. The state elected Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and re-elected Sen. Martin Heinrich by over 13- and 23-point margins, respectively, in 2018. The party also holds all three of the state's House seats.

(MORE: Reliably red district in New Mexico a 'toss-up' between candidates vying to be its 1st female representative)


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