Gillibrand ready to welcome 18th woman to Senate

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is excited about the possibility the U.S. Senate could soon welcome its 18th female legislator.

After news broke that Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) had secured her party's nomination in race to fill the late-Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-Mass.) seat, Gillibrand tweeted:

Congratulations Martha! Just 41 days until Sen. Coakley. And then there were 18!

Coakley is already favored to best the GOP's newly selected nominee, state Sen. Scott Brown, for the seat currently occupied by appointed Sen. Paul Kirk (D). 

While Democrats recognize Brown could prove to be a formidable opponent in the general election, scheduled for January, Coakley has the support of a number of influential women's groups. Her seat, moreover, has been held by a Democrat for decades -- a trend pollsters say will only work in Coakley's favor.

Nevertheless, if Coakley won, she would join Gillibrand and 16 other women already elected to the chamber: Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)