Cowan’s appointment gets warm reception

Jan 31, 2013 By Cole Chapman, The MetroWest Daily NewsThe State House Program

Although some area lawmakers were surprised by Gov. Deval Patrick’s pick of William “Mo” Cowan as Massachusetts’ interim U.S. senator, the general consensus is he could aid the state as a knowledgeable advocate in Washington.

“I think [Cowan’s] very well prepared from the point of view of knowing what we need and will hopefully be able to translate that knowledge for advocacy for the state on a federal level,” said state Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, Wednesday after Patrick appointed his former chief of staff to fill the vacancy left by the appointment of U.S. Sen. John Kerry to secretary of state. Kerry held the Ssenate seat for 29 years.

Cowan’s name had not been mentioned prominently in the run up to Patrick’s announcement. Former congressman Barney Frank had openly sought the interim appointment and former Gov. William Weld had been mentioned as a possible appointee.

“I think it’s a great choice. Unexpected, but excellent, ” said state Rep. Chris Walsh, D-Framingham. “Mo’s a person who can really help. He doesn’t have a long time to work at it, but he really has a very different sort of developed sense of where the commonwealth is going.”

Peisch said the appointment made sense.

“Once the governor had made a decision that he didn’t want to appoint someone who had experience in Washington, this seemed like a reasonable choice,” she said.

Cowan is familiar with state policies and problems after working with the governor since 2009 as legal counsel. In 2010, Cowan was promoted to Patrick’s chief of staff, a position he held until he stepped down in November. As a result, representatives are expecting a good representation of the commonwealth’s agenda.

“I’m sure that he will be an important voice for Massachusetts,” said state Rep. David Linsky, D- Natick.

Cowan is highly regarded among many Massachusetts Democratic legislators, and some are looking forward to having another friendly face to turn to in Washington for local support.

“I have some priorities on disability issues and I was thinking about reaching out to him,” said state Rep. Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland. “Maybe he could be helpful within Washington to move the agenda.”

Peisch also voiced her desire for a little help from Capitol Hill.

“I think the extent to which he could advocate for some general funding for our transportation system would be very helpful,” she said.

Read more: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x171139676/Cowans-appointment-gets-warm-reception#ixzz2LnhrUDY4

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