NAACP Statement on William Cowan Appointment

(Washington, DC) – Earlier this week William “Mo” Cowan was appointed as the second African American currently serving in the United States Senate. He was picked by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to replace former Senator John Kerry, who will serve as Secretary of State. Cowan will become the sixth elected or appointed black U.S. senator since Reconstruction.

The NAACP released the following statement on his appointment:

“In two months we went from zero African American senators to two,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “It is encouraging to see the Senate more closely reflect the diversity in this country. But both of these are only temporary gubernatorial appointments. We cannot be satisfied until voters choose to elect African Americans to the Senate for full six year terms.”

Cowan will serve until a special election to replace Kerry in June. Senator Tim Scott, an African American appointed in December by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, will serve the remaining time in former Senator Jim DeMint’s term.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

< View All Press Releases