A Yadkin County native will take on the role of Massachusetts senator previously filled by John Kerry who has resigned to move on to the Secretary of State position.
Maurice “Mo” Cowan a graduate of Forbush High School will take over the Massachusetts senate seat and will start what he calls the beginning and the end of the shortest political career ever.
“I have no long-term political goals,” Cowan said in a phone interview. “This will be perhaps the shortest political career on record. I have no plans to run for an elected office now or in the future. I am just grateful that Governor Patrick appointed me for this service.
“For me this isn’t about career or any personal ambition or opportunity,” Cowan continued. “It’s about a chance to give back to a state that has given so much to me since I arrived here 22 years ago.”
While Cowan has been the source of headlines the past week for his unexpected appointment by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick he remembers his roots and where his foundation began.
“There’s an old saying, ‘no matter where you are in the world never forget where you came from’ and North Carolina and Yadkinville is and always will be home for me,” Cowan said. “I grew up there and I learned up my values around family, faith, what’s right and wrong and how to treat people and I learned those from my mother, my relatives and all the outstanding educators I had in the Yadkin County School system.”
Cowan has always credited Yadkin County educators for a large part of his educational and professional success.
“I am very grateful for the education I received from my wonderful teachers first at Courtney Elementary, East Bend, and then Forbush,” Cowan said in a previous interview. “If it weren’t for the teachers I had in Yadkin County I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“What the teachers of Yadkin County taught me opened doors and my mind to what education could provide you,” Cowan continued. “It was what they demanded and expected of us to learn.”
Cowan went from Yadkin County to be the first Forbush graduate to go on to Duke University and then on to law school at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.
Cowan began his law career in Boston after law school and joined forces with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo where he began working for Gov. Patrick as general counsel.
In 2011, Cowan was appointed to chief of staff by Gov. Patrick and has been serving Gov. Patrick ever since. He announced his plans to return to the private sector in November 2012. His appointment to the interim senator position will run from Feb. 1 through June 25 when a new senator will be elected by the state to carry out the remainder of Kerry’s term.
“I plan to return to the private sector and continue my life in that regard,” Cowan said. “I will continue to have a close personal and professional relationship with Governor Patrick. As always, should he have a need for advice, counsel, support or assistance of any kind I expect I will answer that call.”
Cowan said that he is aware that he will be facing serious issues as he heads to Washington, D.C. to serve the citizens of Massachusetts. He said that some outstanding issues that he expects to face are the fiscal cliff, immigration and health care.
“I’m going to go down there and work with Senator Warren and the rest of our congressional delegation to focus on those issues and do right by the people of Massachusetts,” Cowan said.
“I’m not going down there with any personal agenda,” Cowan continued. “My agenda is that of the people of Massachusetts and I think the best thing I can do is just continue the work that Secretary Kerry and his team have been working on for this many years.”
Cowan said that while he loves the life he has made for himself and his family in Massachusetts he still misses home, particularly because his mother and immediate relatives still reside in Yadkin County.
“I just miss family friends and I try to get to see as many as I can when I return home,” Cowan said. “There’s nothing like a good Sunday dinner at my mom’s house, my grandmother’s house or a relative’s house where you know you’re going to get some delicious, often home grown, food that reminds me of days growing up in North Carolina.”
Cowan said that he doesn’t make it back to his hometown as often as he would like but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of one day returning for good.
“I don’t know about my plans well down the road,” Cowan said. “I think I’m going to be in Massachusetts where I have built a life, a career and a family for the last 20 plus years. Massachusetts has been good to me and I enjoy the region, I enjoy the people but as I said North Carolina is and always will be home.
“It’s where I started and I always enjoy returning for short or long trips and who knows maybe sometime in the future I may come home for what I think is a short trip and end up staying,” Cowan continued.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.