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January 31, 2013

Patrick taps 'trusted adviser' as interim US senator

Cowan says political career will be a temporary one


Before joining the administration in 2009, Cowan was a partner at the Boston law firm Mintz Levin.

Senate President Therese Murray might be disappointed to hear Cowan has no future political ambitions: “I wish Mo the best of luck and hope that in the future he will consider running for an elected office,” she said in a statement.

Accompanied by his wife, Stacy, and his two sons — Miles, 8, and Grant, 4 — Cowan said he was “honored and humbled” to be chosen to serve, if only for a short time, and represent the people of Massachusetts. The Cowan family lives in Stoughton.

Born in a small, rural town in North Carolina, Cowan moved to Massachusetts 22 years ago to attend law school at Northeastern University. He earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

Calling Cowan a “trusted advisor, professional colleague and friend for a very long time,” Patrick lauded Cowan’s professional qualities and demeanor. The governor also reflected when asked what his choice meant for advancing the cause of diversity in public office — Cowan will become the second African-American senator from Massachusetts following Sen. Edward Brooke, who served from 1967 to 1979.

“The commonwealth and the country are changing,” Patrick said. “The breadth of diversity of background and ethnicity and race is deeper and broader than ever and I have known for a long time, and believed for a long time, that there is talent in every community in the commonwealth and to the extent that we can reflect that and encourage little boys and girls of color or who are poor or who grew up in marginalized circumstance to imagine what it might be like to serve the public in these ways, then I think that’s a great thing,”

Cowan paid special tribute to his mother, who he said was recuperating in North Carolina from her second knee surgery. Calling her a child of the segregated South, Cowan said his mother raised him and his sisters as a single parent after his father passed away when he was a teenager and never had the opportunity to go to college herself.

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