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The United States Senate Just Lost Half of Its Black Senators The United States Senate Just Lost Half of Its Black Senators

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Congress

The United States Senate Just Lost Half of Its Black Senators

Sen. Mo Cowan and Sen. Tim Scott, both appointed to their seats, approach the House Chamber for this year's State of the Union address.(Richard A. Bloom)

On Tuesday, Rep. Edward Markey became Sen. Edward Markey. In doing so, the Democrat brought the Senate's black membership from 2 to 1.

Markey, who represents Massachusetts, was sworn in Tuesday afternoon, replacing interim Sen. William "Mo" Cowan. Cowan was appointed to the Senate seat that was vacated in February by John Kerry, who was named secretary of State. Cowan's last moments as a senator were spent in the Old Senate Chamber, trying to come to a deal on executive nominations. "When Mo Cowan comes to the Senate, interesting things happen," he said Monday night.

Cowan's exit leaves Republican Tim Scott as the only black U.S. senator. Scott was appointed to the South Carolina seat that was vacated by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint at the beginning of this year. In the Senate's history, there have been just eight African-American senators. In 2012, 13.1 percent of the United States was black or African-American. As of today, 1 percent of the United States Senate is black or African-American.

 

For the Senate, it's back to an even more stark demographically unrepresentative existance. For Cowan, it's back to, well:

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