Following the Tuesday confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state, the field is opening with people vying for his U.S. Senate seat. But before that even happens an interim senator has to be named.
Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday announced his former chief of staff William "Mo" Cowan will be the interim senator and will serve until the voters choose a replacement in the June 25 special election.
In addition to being Patrick's former chief of staff, Cowan served as his chief legal counsel. He has been a part of the Patrick administration since 2009.
"I am proud and delighted to appoint Mo Cowan as interim U.S. senator from Massachusetts," said Patrick in a prepared 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 was 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 U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Malden). He announced he would run in late December. There has also been talk, but no official confirmation, that U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) is also considering a run for the position.
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.
Lynch issued a statement Tuesday on his Facebook page saying he is considering a run for U.S. Senate and has been talking to family and close friends and meeting with constituents about the race. He is expected to make his decision public on Thursday at 4 p.m. when he will be making a "major announcement' at the Ironworks Local 7 Hall in South Boston.
Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is also said to be mulling a run for this seat. The Boston Globe reported Wednesday morning that GOP officials close to Brown say he's "leaning strongly toward running." There has been no official word from Brown or his office.
Nobody with Attleboro or Seekonk ties is rumored to be among the potential candidates.