William "Mo" Cowan was tapped Wednesday to become interim U.S. senator from Massachusetts, replacing John Kerry, who was confirmed as Secretary of State Tuesday.
Cowan, 43, former chief of staff to Gov. Deval Patrick, becomes the Senate's second African-American member and first to represent Massachusetts since Republican Ed Brooke in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Cowan said he would not seek the seat in a special election in June.
Patrick said Cowan's appointment was "the affirmation of the American Dream," according to the Boston Globe. He had been Patrick's chief of staff from 2010 until leaving last November.
Kerry had held the seat for 29 years. The race to succeed him in June is expected to feature Republican Scott Brown, who lost his re-election bid in November to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Edward Market, D-Mass., and possibly Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.
Patrick said Wednesday, “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. 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."
Cowan termed himself "honored and humbled by this appointment today."
To read the full statement: http://www.mass.gov/governor/pressoffice/pressreleases/2013/0130-interim-senator.html
He pledged that "during this interim period I will work as hard as humanly possible to perform my duties with the needs and aspirations of our state's citizens foremost in mind.
According to the governor's office, from 1997 to 2009, Cowan practiced civil litigation as an associate and later a partner in the Boston office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC and as a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Middlesex County District Attorney.
Cowan is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law, and lives in Stoughton, Massachusetts with his wife, Stacy, and their two young sons.