Mr. Cowan, a 43-​​year-​​old North Car­olina native and Duke Uni­ver­sity grad­uate, came to Boston to attend North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law and stayed. He stepped down as Mr. Patrick’s chief of staff two months ago, saying he planned to return to the pri­vate sector. He said he agreed to the governor’s request that he take the job, but made clear that he is not inter­ested in being a con­tender for the spe­cial election.


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