Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, today won the endorsement of key members of the Kennedy family. Senator Kennedy’s widow Victoria Reggie Kennedy; his nephew, former congressman Joseph Kennedy II; and his great nephew Joseph Kennedy III announced their endorsements of Coakley at an event this morning. Close Kennedy family friend Senator Paul Kirk (D-MA), who is temporarily filling Kennedy’s seat, also announced his endorsement today, reported the Boston Globe. Though Massachusetts has not elected a Republican US Senator since 1972, a Rasmussen poll released earlier this week shows Coakley’s Republican challenger, State Senator Scott Brown, within nine points of Coakley, according to NPR. Coakley and Brown will face off in a special election on January 19. Coakley is currently the only woman elected to statewide office in Massachusetts and, if elected, would be the first woman to represent the state in the US Senate. Currently, there are 17 women US Senators. Coakley served as Middlesex District Attorney before being elected attorney general in 2006. Coakley is endorsed by the Feminist Majority, NOW, Planned Parenthood Massachusetts, EMILY’s List, and a host of other progressive organizations. She is a strong leader with a feminist track record on reproductive rights, LGBT equality, and economic fairness. In the Massachusetts race, she was the only candidate to stand up for reproductive rights during the ongoing national health reform debate. Coakley has also filed landmark litigation challenging the Defense of Marriage Act and is in support of same sex marriage. As a prosecutor, she was a pioneer in creating programs to protect survivors of domestic violence.