In solidarity, Senate women help female candidates


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's 20 women are determined to swell their ranks this November.

They're providing campaign help to the female candidates from West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa and Oregon looking to smash a few glass ceilings, and hopefuls from Michigan and Hawaii intent on giving their state an all-female Senate lineup.

More than just a presence, women see themselves as a force in politics six years after Hillary Rodham Clinton nearly captured the Democratic nod for president and Sarah Palin made Republican history as her party's vice presidential nominee.

In the Senate, Democratic women assumed the chairmanship of eight of 20 committees and two women — five-term Sen. Barbara Mikulski and four-term Sen. Patty Murray — helped engineer the passage of a sweeping spending bill and a long-sought budget.

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