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Breaking News!

Today's news and culture by Black and other reporters in the Black and mainstream media.

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By Keli Goff, theRoot

William “Mo” Cowan has been appointed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to replace newly confirmed Secretary of State Sen. John Kerry in the U.S. Senate.

For the first time in history, two black Senators will serve at the same time. (Photo: Charles Krupa, AP)
For the first time in history, two black Senators will serve at the same time. (Photo: Charles Krupa, AP)

Cowan will fill the role in an interim capacity until his successor is chosen in a special election in June.

The selection of Cowan, Patrick’s former chief of staff, has surprised political observers. Many of them assumed that the governor would do as he did after the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy and select an elder statesman of some sort — perhaps former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis or retired Rep. Barney Frank. But according to Boston-based political consultant Michael Goldman, who has previously advised Patrick, Cowan makes sense.

“He was one of the governor’s most respected advisers, and one thing this governor wants to do is make history and start to create the next generation of black leadership, and Mo Cowan is that,” Goldman said during a brief phone interview with The Root. Calling Cowan a “terrific guy,” Goldman added, “Gov. Patrick could have picked someone at the end of his career to fill this role, but instead he picked someone still near the beginning. Twenty-five years from now, Mo Cowan will still be making a difference in government and politics, and this governor will have played a role in that.”

Cowan’s appointment means that Massachusetts is now home to two of America’s highest-profile African-American politicians.

Read key facts about Senator Cowan here.

Read about how the “Party of Lincoln” became so white and the Democratic Party became so diverse, here.

Read more Breaking News here.

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