Mass. Gov. appoints former chief of staff to Kerry's Senate seat
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
January 30th, 2013
10:19 AM ET
2 years ago

Mass. Gov. appoints former chief of staff to Kerry's Senate seat

(CNN) – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced on Wednesday he is appointing William "Mo" Cowan, his former chief of staff, to temporarily hold the Senate seat being vacated by John Kerry.

Cowan will serve until a special election is held on June 25, Patrick said at the State House Wednesday morning.

Kerry was confirmed as the next secretary of state by the full Senate on Tuesday. He submitted his resignation Tuesday evening.


Filed under: John Kerry • Massachusetts
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tom

    That makes sense. As Patrick's former chief of staff I'm sure he's a safe Democratic vote who is unlikely to make waves in his interim tenure as Senator. Barney Frank lobbied for the appointment, but I think he presented some problems - he's reviled by Republicans and his appointment could be used against the Democrats in the special election. I'm sure there is some political favoritism at work in this appointment, but if you consider Patrick's priorities have to be to keep Kerry's seat a reliable Democratic vote and help get Ed Markey (presumably) elected in the special election this makes sense.

    January 30, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Democrats need to look further than Clinton and Biden for a 2016 candidate for POTUS. Now this guy, Gov. Patrick, is someone who I think could be a leading contender in 2016. He's a stronger candidate than anyone currently in the limelight on the right. Besides, he's from Massachusetts. On the national level, Democrats have always seemed to like liberals from Mass. lately.

    January 30, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Richard Puente

    Okay... let's do this already....

    January 30, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Name lynn

    Its all about playing hot seats, what the heck.

    January 30, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. mgctampa

    Stupid move, with whats on the agenda, you need someone like Frank who understands how to work in that enviroment.

    January 30, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    mgctampa wrote:

    Stupid move, with whats on the agenda, you need someone like Frank who understands how to work in that enviroment.
    -------------–
    He's appointing someone who would be willing to run to fill the seat. Frank has made it clear that he will not run.

    January 30, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. ST

    I agree. It is a stupid move. Frank knows very well how to discipline his fellow senators and all know it. This man will be new and everything there will be new to him. He has very limited time to learn.

    January 30, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. hjfarmer

    For those interersted in news from the senate; Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who is in line to take over the Senate Foreign Relations committee is being investigated by the FBI for sleeping with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. I haven't seen anything about this on this news site so am passing along. Sleeping with Dominican Republic prostittues should certainly qualify him for chairmanship of the Foreign Relations committee.

    January 30, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    "On the national level, Democrats have always seemed to like liberals from Mass. lately."
    -----
    Oh really? On the national level? WHO???? Mike Dukakis and John Kerry??

    January 30, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    mgctampa wrote:

    Stupid move, with whats on the agenda, you need someone like Frank who understands how to work in that enviroment.
    -----–
    He's appointing someone who would be willing to run to fill the seat. Frank has made it clear that he will not run.
    -------–
    Big swing and a miss again, Rudy. Massachusetts law states that an interim Senate appointee CANNOT run for the seat. But hey... comment away. Someone will believe you.

    January 30, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. hjfarmer

    Next in line to take over the Senate Foreign Relations committee from Kerry is Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who is being investigated for sleeping with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. Not sure what could qualify him more for chairmanship of the Foreign Relations committee.

    January 30, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. J Kiler

    Do interim appointees receive the Congressional pension package?

    January 30, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Charlotte

    Rudy, I heard that he specifically appointed someone who would NOT run for the seat. That was one of his prerequisites.

    January 30, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    @Rudy NYC, I agree with you 100%, however, it may not matter who Democrats might pick as candidate for POTUS because Republicans are putting plans in place to steal the election.

    January 30, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "On the national level, Democrats have always seemed to like liberals from Mass. lately."

    Oh really? On the national level? WHO???? Mike Dukakis and John Kerry??
    ----------–
    Uh, yeah. Democrats love 'em from MA. Same goes for Ann Warren and Barney Frank. Notice that I wrote "lately".

    January 30, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Big swing and a miss again, Rudy. Massachusetts law states that an interim Senate appointee CANNOT run for the seat. But hey... comment away. Someone will believe you.
    -----------–
    I seem to recall that the woman who had filled Ted Kennedy's seat went on to run for it and lost to Brown.

    January 30, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. chilly g

    Hello everybody here in metropolitian washington, D. C. on january 30 it seventy degree and im loving it.

    January 30, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. A True Centrist

    @Rudy NYC

    "I seem to recall that the woman who had filled Ted Kennedy's seat went on to run for it and lost to Brown."

    Rudy...you really have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to this subject so why keep going? First, it's Elizabeth Warren, not Ann Warren. Secondly, Martha Coakley (the Massachussets AG) lost to Scott Brown and she was not the interim Senator...that was Paul Kirk.

    January 30, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Rudy (who doesn't know much about MA) says:

    "I seem to recall that the woman who had filled Ted Kennedy's seat went on to run for it and lost to Brown."
    -----
    The seat was filled on an interim basis by Paul Kirk. Martha Coakley lost the special to Brown. Please try again.

    January 30, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "On the national level, Democrats have always seemed to like liberals from Mass. lately."

    Oh really? On the national level? WHO???? Mike Dukakis and John Kerry??
    ----–
    Uh, yeah. Democrats love 'em from MA. Same goes for Ann Warren and Barney Frank. Notice that I wrote "lately".
    --------
    Elizabeth Warren. But she'll forgive you.

    Meanwhile, she's a senator (STATEWIDE office) and he was a representative (district office). Neither are national offices. Please... keep going. You're really becoming amusing.

    January 30, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    From what I've observed of Deval Patrick, he's a very smart and disciplined man. I'm going to trust his judgment on this one.

    January 30, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Well, so much for that idea. It doesn't change the fact that on a national level voters love their Democrats from Mass. I think Duvall is thinking more about the future with this appointment than the next few months.

    January 30, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Alvin

    Whew! Thank goodness we got a black democrat in there to counter Tim Scott. Otherwise it would have busted our narrative.

    Who the heck is this guy anyway?

    January 30, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Well, so much for that idea. It doesn't change the fact that on a national level voters love their Democrats from Mass. I think Duvall is thinking more about the future with this appointment than the next few months.
    ------
    The last 2 Democrats from MA that ran on the national level were Mike Dukakis and John Kerry. Both lost. You simply do not know what you are talking about.

    January 30, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. batjones

    Barney Frank would have been an interesting choice. However, I think we have had enough of interesting government officials. It is time for the senators to pass constructive legislation to help the people, not just constructive criticism against fellow politicians.

    January 30, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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