Thursday, January 31, 2013

In Historic 1st, U.S. Senate Has 2 Black Members

In an historic first, there will be two African-American men serving in the United States Senate simultaneously. William 'Mo' Cowan was selected by a fellow African-American, Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, to serve as an interim replacement for Senator John Kerry who became Secretary of State on Tuesday. Cowan, 43, served as Gov. Patrick's chief of staff until last November, when he stepped down. Cowan will serve until the winner of a June 25th Special Election is certified and he is not expected to be a candidate in that race. Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown (who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren) is expected to run, despite being a Republican in  a very Democratic state. Whoever wins the special election will have to run for re-election to a full 6-year term in 2014.

The other Black man serving as a United States Senator is former U.S. Representative Tim Scott, who was appointed in December 2012 by South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to fill out the remainder of Jim DeMint's term in the Senate.

Cowan will become only the 8th Black person to ever have served as U.S. Senator. Retired Congressman Barney Frank had openly lobbied to be appointed, which would have meant there would have been two openly gay Senators serving simultaneously, but Gov. Patrick chose instead his good friend and longtime close advisor.

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