Prior research on congressional recruitment establishes that "experienced" or "quality" candidates compete more successfully for votes and money. Little research, however, inquires into how type of prior experience affects strategic decisions on when to run or success once a race is undertaken. This research explores the impact of type of prior experience, focusing on state legislators who run for the U.S. House. We examine how experience affects decisions to run and money raised for all non-incumbent general election House candidates between 1988 and 1994. We find that type of prior experience matters. In particular, state legislators, especially those serving in professionalized legislatures, are more risk averse in deciding when to run. They also raise more of their money from PACs, and even more as the density of their state's interest group structure and professionalism of their legislature increases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science