Credit: ABC

Kerry Washington has the 2013 Emmys handled. The woman behind fast-talking Scandal fixer Olivia Pope was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama this morning, July 18, 2013.

This comes as no surprise given her incredible performance on the hit ABC drama, sometimes literally carrying the cast as she leads her team of “Gladiators.” Not only is this exciting for the Shonda Rhimes-helmed show because it is only headed into its third season, but because Kerry is the fifth African-American actress ever nominated in the category. And she does take home the statue come September? She’ll be the first black woman to ever win.

While we think she’s a shoo-in given her intense, yet occasionally vulnerable and emotional performances on Scandal, she has some tough competition. Alongside her in the category are leading ladies Connie Britton (Nashville), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), and Robin Wright (House of Cards).

As for Kerry? She was shocked, but absolutely thrilled about the nomination. She told ET Online that she couldn't vocalize her excitement, but was "inside jumping up and down" when her publicist called her at the airport, and that she's proud to have her show represented. After telling The Hollywood Reporter how thankful she is to be in such great company, she admitted, "People who know me well know how rare it is when I'm without words, and that's how I felt: speechless and truly humbled and grateful." Ultimately, it feels like a celebration the entire cast, whose talent she says her character is reflected on — but the biggest person she has to thank is Shonda. "I feel like I could spend the rest of my life thanking her every hour on the hour, and it would never be enough," she revealed, and we couldn't agree more.

Will Kerry make history like Olivia’s real-life inspiration, crisis manager Judy Smith? We’ll be waiting anxiously to find out on when the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards air live on Sunday, September 22, 2013 on CBS.

Do you think Kerry will win Best Actress? Sound off below!

SourcesET OnlineThe Hollywood Reporter