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Temporary Massachusetts senator an active political donor

by Kathy Kiely and Lindsay Young

William CowanWilliam Cowan, a Massachusetts lawyer who will take John Kerry's place in the Senate until a special election can be held to replace the Bay State Democrat, about to become the next secretary of state, has donated more than $36,000 to candidates for state and federal office, according to data downloaded from Sunlight's Influence Explorer.

All of the recipients of Cowan's largesse were Democrats with two notable exceptions: In 2002, he made a donation of $200 to Republican Mitt Romney. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee was then running what would turn out to be a successful race to become Massachusetts governor. In 2006, Cowan, seen at right, also gave $500 to ex-Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a one-time Democrat who won his last term running as an Independent.

Among Cowan's other beneficiaries are Gov. Deval Patrick, who today named him to replace Kerry, as well as Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, two Democrats who have launched campaigns to fill Kerry's seat on a more permanent basis. Patrick has set June 25 as the date for the special election.

Cowan's Donations

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(Photo credit: Office of Gov. Deval Patrick