The former chief of staff to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is poised to become the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts, according to media reports. Mo Cowan would replace Sen. John Kerry.
Cowan grew up in Yadkinville and attended Duke University. From a Boston Globe profile: "He grew up in a largely segregated tobacco town in rural North Carolina, the son of a machinist and a seamstress. As a boy, he watched the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross in town, march on his high school, and hand out literature on Main Street."
More from the Globe story: "When Cowan was 16, his father died, leaving his mother to raise him and his two sisters on little more than a minimum wage. Cowan credits his mother and his teachers — some of whom he still keeps in touch with — with helping him become the first Forbush High School graduate to attend Duke University.
He wanted to become a doctor, and “then I took freshman chemistry at Duke,’’ he said, laughing. After graduating with a degree in sociology, he headed to Northeastern University School of Law. “I felt I needed to get beyond North Carolina and see the rest of the world,’’ he said. Boston “was the biggest city I’d ever been in for any extended period of time.’’
Cowan appointment would mark the first time two African-Americans served in the U.S. Senate at the same time -- Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina being the other.