While the candidate emergence literature has provided explanations as to why women do not run or think about running for office, we are still learning about the reasons why they do. This question is of interest for the political candidacy of Black women, as this group is most represented among women of color in political office and their numbers continue to grow. Furthermore, because there is evidence that Black women’s entry into politics is distinct from other groups, it is important to explore how Black women come to participate in politics. The authors examine the extent to which Black women’s level of civic engagement influences their likelihood of considering political office compared to other groups of women. They theorize that running for office is a form of political participation and that previous political activity can act as a predictor for political ambition. The authors explore the likelihood that civic engagement matters for Black women being asked to run and considering running for office on their own. Using data from the 2016 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (CMPS), a unique dataset that provides a large and generalizable sample of racial and ethnic groups in the United States, the authors examine political ambition beyond the groups that have traditionally run for political office. In sum, our data indicates that political participation significantly predicts being asked to run and thinking about running for office. These results reveal the importance of thinking beyond the traditional candidacy pool and how sociopolitical factors matter for key determinants of seeking political office (being asked and having considered running).

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