Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


L. Sandy Maisel

Second Advisor

Charlotte Ridge


This study, “Should She Run? The decision for female congressional candidates,” explores Why Women decide to or not to run for Congress. lt focuses on the influence of state political Culture with a case study on the emergence of female candidates in the primaries for U.S. House of Representative races New England districts from 2002-2010. After running a series of general linear models, the study Ends that certain aspects of a state’s political culture do impact female candidate emergence in New England. Looking forward, it suggests that the key to shrinking the gender gap in the U.S. Congress is to recruit and train viable women in environments conducive to election in order to capitalize on open seat and competitive challenger elections.


women, Congress

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