Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said her campaign for U.S. Senate continues to defy critics and the endorsement of EMILY’s List is just one more sign she has widespread support.

“Despite the best efforts by K Street special interests and many Hartford and Beltway insiders to silence our campaign to change Washington, we continue to gain support and build the grassroots network to win,“ Bysiewicz said in an email thanking EMILY’s List for its endorsement of her campaign.

Relentless, even in the wake of the bruising 2010 election cycle in which the Supreme Court ruled she wasn’t qualified to run for attorney general followed by the Bridgeport ballot debacle on election night, Bysiewicz continues to travel the state and raise money in her quest for the Democratic nomination.

Today’s announcement gives Bysiewicz—the only woman in the U.S. Senate race— a boost.

Republican Linda McMahon who ran in 2010 is expected to announce in the next couple of months, according to sources, but EMILY’s List hopes to give Bysiewicz an early advantage against her Democratic opponents and notes that Connecticut has never elected a woman to the U.S. Senate.

“Of course, this Senate race will be no cakewalk—the primary field already includes well-funded Cong. Chris Murphy and state Rep. William Tong, a Lieberman protégé. But we can’t afford to let this historic opportunity pass us by—that’s why we’re putting Susan Bysiewicz “On the List” for your strong and early support,” EMILY’s List wrote in its blog posting about the endorsement.

“Susan Bysiewicz is a statewide leader, a strong voice for reform and transparency in government, and a determined advocate for small businesses – and we are proud to put her ‘On the List’,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “As state Representative and Secretary of State, Susan championed good government policies, promoting transparency and ethics reform.“

Bysiewicz is the second Democratic woman running for Congress next year to receive the endorsement of EMILY’s List, former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who is running for the Fifth Congressional District seat was the first.

EMILY’s List selects only progressive, pro-choice women who have shown they have a desire and the ability to win. Being on the list gives Bysiewicz access to a national network of donors to help her raise money.

In the 2009-2010 election cycle, EMILY’s List raised more than $38.5 million to support its mission of recruiting and supporting women candidates and with a community of more than 900,000 members across the country, it is one of the largest political action committees in the nation, according to a press release.