Udall says he’ll back labs

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By Carol A. Clark

Voters on Tuesday elected Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., to replace Republican Sen. Pete Domenici who retires Dec. 31. Just what that means to Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory will take time to determine, said Rep. Jeannette Wallace during an interview Thursday.


“It is going to take the new Sen. Tom Udall a while for us to feel as comfortable with him as we have with Sen. Domenici over these many years,” Wallace said. “Of course I wish him the best and encourage him to remember that New Mexico is very diverse, we have ranchers and farmers, the national labs, old Hispanic families and young new families moving in from other states and I hope he realizes that all of us like to be recognized.”


Wallace added that Udall's been elected and it's time to accept him and move on.


Udall addressed the importance of LANL and his intentions when he enters the Senate in January.


“Our laboratories and their employees are national treasures,” he said. “In the United States Senate I will continue to fight for the future of LANL - for the employees, the mission, and diversification into new areas critical to our national security. It has been my honor to represent the Los Alamos community and LANL in the House for the last decade and I am proud be able to continue working for them in the U.S. Senate.”


Udall won 61.1 percent of the vote over Republican Steve Pearce who, according to unofficial results, received 39.9 percent.


He comes from a political family. His father, Stuart Udall, was Secretary of the Interior in the 1960s during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. His cousin, Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado also was elected to the U.S. Senate in Tuesday's general election. His father, Mo Udall, ran against Jimmy Carter in the 1976 primaries.


New Mexico's entire congressional delegation is now Democrat. Along with a new senator, New Mexico will have three new representatives including Ben Ray Lujan, Martin Heinrich and Harry Teague.


On his campaign website, Udall thanks his supporters saying, “Today we see just how ready our country is for change. We are seeing that the people of New Mexico and the people of America are ready for a new path. It has been a long-fought campaign season, but every phone call, every door knock, every moment was worth it. You got us here today, and only with your help can we get America on track again. I am humbled by your support. I thank you for your support. Now let's celebrate and then roll up our sleeves and get to work.”