With Tuesday's official confirmation of U.S. Senator John Kerry to the post of Secretary of State, the field is opening up with folks vying for Kerry's seat in his unexpired term in the U.S. Senate. But before that even happens an interim senator has to be named.
On Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick announced his former chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan will be the interim senator and will serve until a new senator is elected in the June 25 special election. Patch reported in December that Cowan, a Stoughton resident, would be stepping down this month and returning to the private sector.
Besides being Patrick’s former chief of staff, Cowan also served as chief legal counsel to the governor, having served in the Patrick-Murray Administration since 2009.
"I am proud and delighted to appoint Mo Cowan as interim U.S. Senator from Massachusetts," Patrick said in a statement 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 said he is honored and humbled by the appointment.
“I pledge to you and the people of Massachusetts 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,” Cowan said.
The primary is set for April 30 and the special election is June 25. Nomination papers will be made available through Secretary of State William Galvin’s office, giving candidates four weeks to collect the 10,000 signatures required to get on the April 30 primary ballot.
Candidates in the running for Senate seat
Already officially in the running for Kerry’s senate seat is Congressman Edward Markey (D-Malden). Markey, who has been a U.S. Representative since 1976, represents the Fifth Congressional District.
While Markey announced back in December his intentions to run for Kerry's seat, there has also been talk—but no official confirmation—that Congressman Stephen Lynch is also considering a run for the position.
Lynch represents the Eighth Congressional District. While there have been rumors Lynch would run for the seat, there has been no official announcement from Lynch, but that could be coming soon.
On Tuesday on his Facebook page, Lynch issued a statement saying he is considering a run for U.S. Senate and has been talking to family, close friends and meeting with constituents about this race. He is expected to make his decision public on Thursday when he will be making a "major announcement' at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon at the Ironworkers Local 7 Hall in South Boston.
Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown is also said to be mulling a run for this seat. The Boston Globe Wednesday morning reported that GOP officials close to Brown say he’s “leaning strongly toward running.” There has been no official word from Brown or his office.