Thursday, January 31, 2013

MA Governor Makes Surprise Senate Appointment

MA Governor Deval Patrick

It's been musical chairs on Capital Hill lately. Ultra-conservative Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) to take over at the Heritage Foundation. Republican Governor Nikki Haley appointed freshman Tea Party Congressman Tim Scott to take the Senate Vacancy.

 Hillary Clinton is packing her bags and leaving her post as Secretary of State. The Senate overwhelming approved the appointment of John Kerry. Yesterday, MA Governor Deval Patrick appointed William "Mo" Cowan, his former Chief Legal Counsel and Chief of Staff to fill Kerry's vacancy until the June 25th state wide election to determine a permanent replacement.

What's really interesting about these changes is the fact that they result in two African Americans serving in the U. S. Senate at the same time...a historical first. Here's a quick primer on African Americans serving in the Senate:

  • Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve in the Senate.

  • Blanche Kelso Bruce was the first African American to serve a full six-year term as senator and the only senator to be a former slave.[3]

  • Edward William Brooke, III was the first African American to be popularly elected, the first to be re-elected, and the first to be elected outside of the southern states.

  • Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun was the first female African American to serve in the Senate.

  • Barack Hussein Obama, II was the fifth African American to serve as a senator.[1] He resigned from his office to become the first African American President of the United States.

  • Roland Wallace Burris was the first African American to be appointed and the first to succeed another African American. He was appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich to succeed Barack Obama.

    SC Senator Tim Scott
  • Timothy Eugene "Tim" Scott was both the first African American and the first to be affiliated with the Republican Party to represent a southern state since the end of the Reconstruction Era. He was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to succeed Jim DeMint.

  • William "Mo" Cowan will be the first black senator appointed by an African-American governor, Deval Patrick. The appointment of Cowan will also mark the first time that two African-Americans have served concurrently in the senate, as Cowan will serve alongside Tim Scott.

  • This information should allow you to be well prepared when these questions surface in next months' tests.

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