Sen. John Kerry left his advice with fellow Congress members Wednesday as he prepares to end his 28-year tenure as a United States senator.
His last words on the floor were of encouragement, reminding Congress members to move past party lines.
"Prioritize our shared interests above the short term, to bridge the breadth of the partisan divide, and to reach across the aisle and take the long view," he said.
Tuesday Kerry was confirmed as the next secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Clinton who will step down on Friday.
Back in Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick appointed his own former Chief of Staff William "Mo" Cowan to fill Kerry's now vacant seat.
"Today I have the great honor, privilege and personal pleasure to appoint Mo Cowan as United States senator in the interim," Patrick said at the State House.
Cowan has worked closely with the Patrick administration since 2009, serving as chief of staff and chief legal counsel.
Wednesday at the State House he humbly accepted the position.
"I will go to work every day with our state's citizens and residents foremost in my mind," Cowan said.
Cowan will officially assume the role after Kerry's official resignation and swearing in on Friday.
Before Kerry left the Senate for the last time, his emotions took over.
"Standing here at this desk that once belonged - at this desk that once belonged to President Kennedy and to Ted Kennedy, I can't help but be reminded that even our nation's greatest leaders and all the rest of us are merely temporary workers. I'm reminded that this chamber is a living museum, a lasting memorial to the miracle of the American experiment," Kerry said.
Kerry is embarking on a thank you tour around the state Thursday and will make a stop in Springfield at Youthbuild USA.
He will cap it off at Faneuil Hall where Patrick will also make an appearance.
Several have already set their sights on the Senate seat.
Democrat Rep. Edward Markey has announced he is running. His fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch is also considering running.
A primary will be held on April 30.
Sources close to former Republican Sen. Scott Brown say he has not ruled out running, either, for the June 25 special election.
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