For the first time in history there will be two Blacks serving in the United States Senate. Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick has appointed his former chief of staff William "Mo" Cowan to serve as the state’s interim United States senator, reports the Boston Globe.
In addition to being the second Black in the current Senate, Cowan will also become Massachusetts' second Black senator.
Cowan said he was “honored and humbled” to get the temporary post, which will make him the first African-American to represent Massachusetts in the Senate since Edward Brooke held the seat as a Republican from 1966 to 1978. ... Cowan succeeds Kerry, who this week formally resigned from the US Senate seat he held for 29 years and was also confirmed as the nation’s secretary of state by his Senate colleagues in an 94-3 vote.
Cowan is a North Carolina native and Duke University graduate who came to Boston to attend Northeastern University Law School in the early 1990s - and never left the region. One of the city’s leading African-American lawyers, Cowan is a former partner in the politically connected law firm of Mintz Levin.
Cowan has also mentored many black professionals and has served as a talent scout frequently called upon to help diversify the city’s institutions. He helped Governor Mitt Romney, who faced criticism for the lack of diversity in his judicial picks, identifying lawyers of color who would make good judges.
"Mo’s service on the front lines in our efforts to manage through the worst economy in 80 years and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for the next generation has earned him the respect and admiration of people throughout government," said Gov. Deval Patrick in a statement. "The people of the Commonwealth have benefited from his wisdom and good judgment during his time in our office, and will again in the Senate."
Massachusetts voters will select former Sen. John Kerry's replacement on June 25th in special election.
Former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown lost his bid for re-election to Elizabeth Warren in November. Scott has indicated that he may run again this summer.
Cowan joins South Carolina Republican Tim Scott to become the second Black serving in the current Senate. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appointed the former congressman to fill retiring Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate seat in December. Cowan and Scott are ideological opponents–Scott is stridently anti-gay, opposes a woman's right to choose and opposes other progressive causes. Would love to see Cowan spar with Tim "Tea Party" Scott on the Senate floor.