Who’ll fill Kerry Senate seat? Question answered, but only for now.
Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick names a former aide, William 'Mo' Cowan, to fill the Kerry seat until a special election in June. Two House Democrats are girding for battle, as is the GOP's Scott Brown.
The governor of Massachusetts has appointed a former member of his staff to fill the US Senate seat that’s being vacated by John Kerry (D), but a longer term question looms: Who will voters choose just a few months from now to occupy that post?Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
It may boil down to a choice between three men, two Democrats and one moderate Republican, who are already familiar with the halls of Congress.
For now, the Massachusetts seat will be held by William “Mo” Cowan, who stepped down in November as Gov. Deval Patrick’s chief of staff after previously serving as his legal counsel. In naming the interim senator, Governor Patrick followed a course he chose when another Massachusetts Democrat, Ted Kennedy, died in office: filling a Senate slot with someone who pledges not to run for permanent election.
That leaves the field open for what promises to be a lively contest, culminating in a June 25 vote.
A leading contender in the race has already emerged: Rep. Edward Markey, the state’s longest-serving House member in Washington. Known as a staunch liberal with a passion for issues related to energy and the environment, he has the backing of Kerry and many other top Democrats in the state.
But another long-time House member, with Boston roots, is poised to challenge him in a Democratic primary in April. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a former ironworkers union member, is expected to announce his candidacy Thursday. Representative Lynch is less liberal than Markey, criticized by some Democrats for his conservative stance on the sensitive issue of abortion.