Senator Udall visiting a wind power plant in Boulder in 2013.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) was one of just a few US Senators decrying widespread surveillance even before the Snowden leaks. Udall has been a sharp critic of intelligence agencies since then as well, asking for CIA Director John Brennan to resign after allegations emerged that the intelligence agency gained access to Senate files.
He won’t be in office much longer. Udall lost his election last night against Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner. By 1:00am Eastern time, Gardner was ahead by six percentage points, with 87 percent of precincts reporting. At that point, several news agencies called the election for Gardner. The Senate seat was one of several that flipped from Democratic to Republican control last night, causing Republicans to take control of the upper house.
Udall’s positioning as a tough critic of the NSA wasn’t a big issue on the campaign trail, although in the final days of the election he did release an ad saying he “won’t tolerate” overbroad government surveillance. But much of Udall’s campaigning came across as out of touch, running an old playbook. Udall hammered his opponent on womens’ issues in socially liberal Colorado, noting that Gardner supported a “personhood amendment” to limit abortion and suggesting he wanted to ban some types of birth control.
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