(WASHINGTON) — William “Mo” Cowan was sworn in as the interim U.S. senator from Massachusetts on Thursday, filling the seat left vacant by new Secretary of State John Kerry.
Upon his swearing-in by Vice President Joe Biden, the Senate erupted into raucous applause.
Cowan is one of two African-Americans in the U.S. Senate but that in itself is historic because it’s never happened before.
On hand for the Democrat’s ceremony was Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only other black Senate member. The two men shook hands and embraced in a warm hug.
Cowan’s time in the Senate is limited because he has no plans to run in the special election scheduled for June 25 that will decide who will fill out Kerry’s term that ends December 2014.
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