U. S. Senator William Maurice “Mo” Cowan, a native of Yadkin County, spoke to hundreds of North Carolina Democrats with the main address at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Raleigh on April 27.
He holds the highest office ever achieved in the federal government by someone from Yadkin County.
Cowan invoked the names of former governors Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt as role models for what government can do to help everyone.
He said that many citizens only want government services in time of need. Cowan said that when people need help, the government needs to be there for them.
When Cowan was 16, his father died, leaving his mother with three children to support on the salary of a seamstress.
“She applied for public assistance and got it, which offered our family a hand up to build a better future, not a hand out,” Cowan said.
He said that federal government assistance needs to be extended to the next generation of American inventors, who will make the nation’s ideas competitive in a world market.
“Investments today will pay dividends tomorrow,” he added.
He said that Democrats want justice, opportunity and fairness. He urged them to keep the right of women to choose their own health care and push for personal freedom for everyone to choose their own marriage partner.
He added, “Democrats believe in liberty when it is the right thing to do, not just when it is convenient.”
Cowan said that Democrats need to motivate, activate, and organize their voters in order to win the 2014 elections.
He urged state Democrats to develop a plan to win the 2014 elections.
“Because Democratic ideas are preferred by a majority of voters, we will win in 2014,” he declared to a standing ovation.
Larry Vestal, Chair of the Yadkin County Democratic Party, said that Cowan’s speech was “a call to action to take North Carolina’s government back.”
Sen. Cowan was born in 1969 in Yadkin County and raised in the community of Huntsville, where his parents lived and attended Tabernacle United Church of Christ.
He attended Courtney Elementary School and graduated in 1987 as an outstanding student from Forbush High School. From there, he graduated from Duke University and earned his law degree from Northeastern University in Boston.
After law school, he moved to Massachusetts, where he married and started a family. He worked as a corporate attorney until Gov. Patrick chose him to serve as his chief of staff. When John Kerry resigned his senate seat to become Secretary of State, Patrick appointed Cowan to fill it.
Yadkin County Democrats attending the event included Larry Vestal, Debbie Shaw, Andrew Mackie, Ann Black, Cynthia Cowan, Jewel Dulin, Connie Campbell, Annice Williams, Margie Williams Hargrave, Walter and Sherry Smith, Jim McGrath, Bradley Hardy, and Juanita Bryant.