Female candidates line up for 2010

A slew of formidable female candidates, mostly Democrats, are lining up to run for the Senate in 2010, enough to raise the prospect of a surge of women into a chamber that currently has just 17 women senators.

Even at this early point in the election cycle, two prominent statewide female officeholders have announced their campaigns in key battleground states and at least 10 other experienced female candidates — ranging from state officials to former CEOs to members of Congress— are considering bids for the Senate.