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Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 6:19 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 4:16 PM EST
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The choice of William “Mo” Cowan as the interim U.S. Senator came as a surprise to many people across Massachusetts who did not know Governor Deval Patrick’s former chief of staff.
Cowan will now replace Senator John Kerry until a special election is held in June. The choice is historic, as Cowan will be the first African American to represent Massachusetts in the Senate since Republican Sen. Edward Brooke in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Cowan is not nearly as well-known as some of the others that had been mentioned as possible interim replacements for Kerry. Former Congressman Barney Frank had publicly voiced his interest in the position. Also reportedly considered were former Governor Michael Dukakis and Victoria Kennedy, the widow of Senator Edward Kennedy.
22News spoke with voters in Northampton about their thoughts on the appointment of the 43 year-old former Patrick adviser.
“I implicitly trust Governor Patrick, so I don't have any problems with his decision,” Peter Kakos of Northampton said.
“Well he has a choice and he can do it. I thought Frank would be a great interim, but you know he's had his time,” Nancy Young of Greenfield said.
Cowan's appointment will end this summer, after a special election is held on June 25.