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Patrick Names Mo Cowan As Interim Massachusetts Senator

BOSTON (CBS) - It was one of the best-kept secrets in town.

Governor Deval Patrick has chosen his former Chief of Staff William "Mo" Cowan to fill John Kerry's Senate seat until a special election is held in June.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports


In a news conference at the State House Wednesday, Cowan told reporters Patrick offered him the position Tuesday. It was first reported by WBZ-TV's Jon Keller.

Cowan, 43, is a resident of Stoughton and a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law.  He is married with two young sons.

William Cowan
William "Mo" Cowan.

He was Patrick's Chief of Staff from January 2011 until November 2012 when he announced he would return to the private sector this month.

Read: Keller: Patrick Sends A Message

At the time, Cowan was Patrick's chief strategist and advisor, overseeing his cabinet and policy agenda.

Before he became Chief of Staff, Cowan was Patrick's Chief Legal Counsel for the two years.

Keller told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 he was not surprised by the governor's choice.

"(Patrick) had indicated that he wanted someone who could, obviously, represent our interests in Washington. He was interested in elevating a person of color to the position and certainly, Mo Cowan, any way you want to look at it, is qualified, by virtue of his background as both a private and public sector lawyer."

"He was a high-powered attorney handling civil litigation for the downtown law firm Mintz Levin for a number of years," Keller said.

WBZ-TV's Sera Congi reports:

Cowan will be the second African-American senator from Massachusetts. Edward Brooke, a Republican, represented the Commonwealth from 1967-1979.

"I have to say, as someone who's covered the Patrick administration from day one, the trains never ran as smoothly as they did when Mo Cowan was the chief engineer."

Read: Keller: Exciting Senate Race

So what does this do for Cowan after a permanent replacement is elected in June?

"Assuming things go smoothly between now and the end of June," Keller said, "I would say you'd have to put Mo Cowan on your list of potentials for the 2014 governor's race, if he's interested."

When asked directly about his future political ambitions, Cowan said he's not running for office "today or in the future."

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