MA Gov. Patrick tapping former chief of staff Mo Cowan for interim Senate seat

posted at 11:31 am on January 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Soon-to-be Secretary of State John Kerry’s formal bowing-out via resignation letter of the U.S. Senate seat he occupied for 29 years will officially trigger the special election to fill the vacancy in Massachusetts. After indicating that he was looking for an “out of the box” candidate who hasn’t run for political office before to act as interim senator until the June 25th election, Gov. Deval Patrick announced his official pick for the five-month placeholder on Wednesday, reports Politico:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will appoint his former chief of staff, Mo Cowan, to the Senate today, according to a Democrat with knowledge of the pick. …

In picking Cowan, Patrick passed over other candidates including former congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of former senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Cowan will become the second African-American to join the Senate in the last month, along with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R), another appointee. When he is sworn in, the Senate will feature two black members for the first time ever.

As a former top adviser to Democratic Gov. Patrick, I think we can expect interim Sen. Cowan to generally hold the Democratic line in the Senate — but whether or not that seat will remain in Democratic hands is very much up in the air. Scott Brown has yet to publicly decide on whether he’ll wait for the Massachusetts gubernatorial race in 2014, or if he’ll once more enter into a special Senate election; it wouldn’t be his first rodeo, and early polling suggests he’d have a solid advantage going into it.

The Democrats will probably be duking it out in a primary between U.S. representatives Steven Lynch and Ed Markey — who’s already getting a head start on being the race’s resident ‘man of the people’ by calling for the same type of super PAC-pact agreed to by Brown and Elizabeth Warren in the November Senate election, via HuffPo:

Massachusetts Senate candidate Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wants to keep independent groups out of the special election he plans to run in should Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) vacate his seat to become the next Secretary of State.

On Monday, the Markey campaign released a challenge to all unannounced candidates to accept a “people’s pledge” to keep spending by independent groups out of the special election.

“I am challenging all of the candidates — Democrats and Republicans — in this special election for the United States Senate to join me in committing to the people’s pledge upon entering this race,” Markey said in a statement released by his campaign. “If all the candidates agree, we can give the voters the kind of debate they deserve. This election should be a forum for the voices of everyday voters, not attacks from Karl Rove and other outside special interests. This election should be focused on big issues and ideas, not big-money outside groups.”


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This is news? Clinton was tapping Monika nearly 20 years ago.

Wino on January 30, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Scott Brown has yet to publicly decide on whether he’ll wait for the Massachusetts gubernatorial race in 2014, or if he’ll once more enter into a special Senate election; it wouldn’t be his first rodeo, and early polling suggests he’d have a solid advantage going into it.

He’d stand a much better chance of winning the Senate special election. I hope he decides to run.

Doughboy on January 30, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Wascist.
-Bwawny Fwank.

RovesChins on January 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Interesting pick considering the MA Dem party’s potential candidates for the special election is a cornucopia of old white guys.

But then again (D) is all that matters.

Gingotts on January 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

MSM hypocricy on parade….

Tim Scott, former US Congressman, utterly unfit for the office of Senator.

Mo Cowan, no elective office whatsoever, crony of a corrupt Governor. Wonderful African-American choice for the Senate.

Happy Nomad on January 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Poor, poor, Barney.

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Wascist.
-Bwawny Fwank.

RovesChins on January 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Wacist? No! Clearly Deval Patrick hates the gays.

Happy Nomad on January 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Barney Frank hardest hit.

BigGator5 on January 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Mo Cowan: ‘I am confident in my ability to make a positive impact for Massachusetts while I am in the Senate’ – @PaulaEbbenWBZ

26 mins ago from twitter.com/PaulaEbbenWBZ by editor

canopfor on January 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Ding ding ding happy nomad

cmsinaz on January 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM

MA Gov. Patrick tapping former chief of staff Mo Cowan

In the midnight hour, she cried ‘Mo, Mo, Mo
With a rebel yell,
Mo, Mo, Mo.

UltimateBob on January 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM

MA governorship is an ungrateful, dead-end position for a Republican. You end up both paying for the legislative liberal orgy, and being blamed for it. But honestly, I don’t quite see how Scott Brown can possibly win an election against an African American in Massachusetts Hasn’t the Affirmative Action Court of MA recently decided that all candidates start the race with the percentage of votes equal to his or her skin melanine concentration?

Archivarix on January 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Wonder what HuffPo will have to say. ( Gov. Nikki Haley – Tim Scott)

Buck_Nekkid on January 30, 2013 at 11:44 AM

MSM hypocricy on parade….

Tim Scott, former US Congressman, utterly unfit for the office of Senator.

Mo Cowan, no elective office whatsoever, crony of a corrupt Governor. Wonderful African-American choice for the Senate.

Happy Nomad on January 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

What’s even better is Tim Scott will be reelected in 2014 by Republicans and independents. Cowan will be a placeholder much like Roland Buriss in Illinois before a white guy can replace him. Defend that, leftist media.

Doughboy on January 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Hey, Markey — if the people deserve GOP agents like Rove out of it, do they also deserve Dem agents like NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, the NYT, the Washington Post, the President, and so on and on, out of it as well? Or is this simply an extremely naked and transparent bid for whatever unfair advantage for yourself you can scrounge up?

Dirty Creature on January 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Bawney Fwank hardest hit.

Wait… that just sounds bad when said about him…

Mr. Prodigy on January 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Not a bad choice — the lack of political history seems to be the standard in the post-Bork era.

unclesmrgol on January 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Slightly OT: I would say this story about Ashley Judd and her husband breaking up is the strongest indicator yet that she is seriously thinking of running for McConnell’s seat.

Rocks on January 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Scott Brown is “strongly leaning towards running” per the Globe.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/01/29/scott-brown-leaning-strongly-toward-senate-bid/yUD24vBPjaPy5ZRlAYbjNP/story.html

cdog0613 on January 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Excellent ultimate bob :)

Actually saw idol in’87….great concert

cmsinaz on January 30, 2013 at 11:54 AM

MA is famous for “Nationwide searches” to find the best and brightest. Works everytime. Bet “Mo” will be able to turn this into some “walking around money” even with him being a lawyer in good standing. There is a reason they call the MA statehoue “The only pawn shop in America with a Golden Dome.”

RickinNH on January 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

THIS is all about party identity politics.

The Dems need their own Tim Scott. And don’t bet on Scott Brown. NOW they have set Brown up that any criticism will be racist. Expect an article in the Boston Globe shortly on Brown having said the n-word when he stripped for that centerfold.

PappyD61 on January 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Slightly OT: I would say this story about Ashley Judd and her husband breaking up is the strongest indicator yet that she is seriously thinking of running for McConnell’s seat.

Rocks on January 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Also an indicator that I no longer have to have mixed feelings rooting for Dario Franchitti in a race. (Though in unrelated news, I can no longer support Ricky Stenhouse who is now in the 17 car that I’ve backed for ages.)

Gingotts on January 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Maybe as a consolation prize Gov. Patrick could make Bwarney an honorary Chief of Staffs.

Flange on January 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

THIS is all about party identity politics.

The Dems need their own Tim Scott. And don’t bet on Scott Brown. NOW they have set Brown up that any criticism will be racist. Expect an article in the Boston Globe shortly on Brown having said the n-word when he stripped for that centerfold.

PappyD61 on January 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Yeah, but Cowan seems unlikely to be the nominee in the Special Election. And even if he is, he ain’t beating Scott Brown based on early polls. If the Dems want to elect a black Senator to tie the GOP’s total(ironic, isn’t it?), Cory Booker is their best shot and even he has to first overcome Lautenberg.

Doughboy on January 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Wow, I’m so surprised…

Deval claimed he was going to pick someone that would be able to speak for us all (Mass citizens), until someone could be elected.

Mo don’t speak for me. Guess I’ve been duped again…. /sarc

PermanentWaves on January 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

This election should be a forum for the voices of everyday voters, not attacks from Karl Rove and other outside special interests.

Hmmm…no Democrats mentioned, guess that means their contributions will be okay.

GarandFan on January 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM

MSM hypocricy on parade….

Tim Scott, former US Congressman, utterly unfit for the office of Senator.

Mo Cowan, no elective office whatsoever, crony of a corrupt Governor. Wonderful African-American choice for the Senate.

Happy Nomad on January 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

But Mo is the ‘real’ African-American candidate!!
/MSM-LSM (same same but different)

Khun Joe on January 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM

HA! As if Scott Brown would agree to the same rules with Markey as he did with Warren. That is an f’ing howler. The only reason Brown did that was to not seem like he was beating up on the girl in the “war on women” culture he was running in.

I guess you can give some credit to Markey for trying a hail mary or something.

Markey is already 14 pts behind a generic democrat against Brown. Good luck moron.

deadrody on January 30, 2013 at 12:14 PM

On Monday, the Markey campaign released a challenge to all unannounced candidates to accept a “people’s pledge” to keep spending by independent groups out of the special election.

ROTFLMAO …
If you believe THAT, I have a bridge to Canada I’d like to sell you – cheap.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 30, 2013 at 12:24 PM

But Mo is the ‘real’ African-American candidate!!
/MSM-LSM (same same but different)

Khun Joe on January 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Actually, he isn’t a candidate at all. He got the job because he is a friend of Deval Patrick. Mo hasn’t held a single elective office nor is there any indication he has a clue as to how the legislative process works in DC. He’s a token black appointment not likely to do anything more than sit around and enjoy being Senator until some white man gets elected into the job.

And BTW, if Patrick wanted to make a statement about race, are we really to believe that there isn’t a legitimately qualified black in Mass. that might have been approached? That the only black available for the Senate appointment just happened to be the Chief of Staff of the man making the appointment?

Happy Nomad on January 30, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Barney Frank and Vicki Kennedy were passed over? Gov. Patrick, you’re a homophobe and a sexist. Although, not a racist, as yet.

tommy71 on January 30, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Cowan will become the second African-American to join the Senate in the last month

There’s the money quote; you know the Dems have been taking grief in private over the Republicans having the only black person in the Senate. Can’t have that.

Midas on January 30, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Well, I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise. They couldn’t have the only Black member of the Senate being a Republican (Tim Scott), could they? I wonder who told Patrick he should do this. Axelrod?

sydneyjane on January 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Just like Detroit has been doing, yeah, what could go wrong?

jake49 on January 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Barney Frank hardest hit.

BigGator5 on January 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I’d like to hit him, with the grille of my car doing about 55 MPH.

UltimateBob on January 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM

What’s really noteworthy here is that the Democratic Party in Massachusetts remains divided and isn’t quite as lock-step a machine as it was when Teddy Kennedy was in control. The reason Deval Patrick appointed a caretaker was because the Democrats were having a contested primary for the seat. Such a thing would be unthinkable in a place like Illinois.

Outlander on January 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM

UltimateBob on January 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Hey now, that’s not nice.

I mean, you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good car, do you?

BigGator5 on January 30, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Why is it either-or for Brown? Can’t he win us the Senate seat, and then appoint his successor after winning the state house?

MTF on January 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

The Guv knows the Dems of Mass. Guilty white folks won’t vote for anyone but Mo when the regular election happens.

Hummer53 on January 30, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Scott Brown should start by running in the special election for Senate.

If Scott Brown wins the Senate seat, where he can do the most good on the national level, that would be great!

If he loses the Senate race, he will still benefit from the Senate run by increasing his state-wide popularity and fine-tuning his campaign strategy for a future potential race for Massachusetts Governor.

In either case, the voters of Massachusetts will be given a chance to show they aren’t really as stupid as we all thought they were when they elected Fauxcahontas Warren, by returning Scott Brown to the Senate.

wren on January 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM