State legislators as congressional candidates: The effects of prior experience on legislative recruitment and fundraising

Michael Berkman, James Eisenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-498
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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