Cowan was selected by Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) to temporarily fill Kerry’s former seat. A special election will be held in June to decide who will serve Massachusetts on a longer-term basis. 

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Rep. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.) has announced that he will run in the special election. Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has said he won’t run.

Kerry, who attended the swearing in, left the Senate to serve in President Obama’s cabinet as secretary of State. The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Kerry for the position last week.

Members of the chamber applauded as Cowan signed the oath of office. Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees GOP senator: Trump shouldn't pardon Flynn Trump should fill CFPB vacancy with Export-Import chief MORE (R-S.C.), the only other African American currently serving in the Senate, was one of the first people to shake Cowan's hand after he was sworn in.