Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) selected his former chief of staff, Mo Cowan, to be Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s interim replacement in the upper chamber of Congress. The Senate confirmed Kerry to be the nation’s next secretary of state on Jan. 29, 2013.
Cowan has been a “professional colleague and a friend for a very long time,” Patrick said in announcing his pick. He said Cowan’s work helping Massachusetts through the financial crisis has prepared him well to serve in the Senate.
In picking Cowan, Patrick passed over other candidates including former congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of former senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Cowan will become the second African-American to join the Senate in the last month, along with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R), another appointee. When he is sworn in, the Senate will feature two black members for the first time ever.
Cowan is expected to serve as a placeholder until a special election can be held in June. Among the candidates expected to run for the seat are Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) Former senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has not announced his plans.
Cowan stepped down as as Patrick’s chief of staff in November. He can be followed on Twitter at @mocowan, and here is more info on his work for Patrick.