Special election to fill senate seat scheduled for June

Gov. Deval Patrick Wednesday announced he had chosen William “Mo” Cowan, his former chief of staff and one-time chief legal counsel, to become the state’s interim United States senator, temporarily replacing John Kerry who was confirmed Tuesday as the country’s next secretary of state.

Mr. Cowan is a close confidant and long-time advisor who has been at Mr. Patrick’s side for major policy battles on Beacon Hill in recent years, the State House News service reported.

Mr. Cowan announced in November that he planned to resign as chief of staff this month to return to the private sector. He will become the first African-American senator from Massachusetts since Republican Edward Brooke, an Oak Bluffs seasonal resident, held the position for two terms from 1967 to 1979.

The date of the special election to fill the seat is June 25, with party primaries to be held on April 30.