Running for Elected Office

This set of materials – developed by UW-Extension, the Local Government Center, and the League of Women Voters, with contributions from the Wisconsin Elections Commission (formerly the Government Accountability Board) and Manitowoc County – will help you decide whether you should run … how to run … and how to present the topic to others.

Other Resources

Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC): Invaluable resources for officials on conducting local elections, and information for voters.

Women in Government


A number of studies have highlighted the disproportionately low number of women holding state and federal elective offices. This is also true of local elective offices in Wisconsin. These studies have also shown that women are less likely than men to run for elective office, and that their reasons for running often vary from those cited by men.

Jenny Erickson, Sauk County, UWEX Community Development Educator, Dan Hill, UWEX Local Government Center, Local Government Specialist, and Victoria Solomon, Green County, UWEX Community Development Educator investigated whether these findings held true for women running for local office in Wisconsin. Their findings have appeared in the publications of Wisconsin’s three statewide local Government Associations.

Why Women Do Not Run: Copy of slides presenting highlights of the women and political ambition research.

League of Wisconsin Municipalities magazine article about the research related to why more women do not run for local office in Wisconsin.

News from the University of Wisconsin-Extension providing an overview of the Local Government Center sponsored research on women and political ambition for local elected office.

Wisconsin State Journal article about the lack of Republican women holding seats in the state legislature.

Politi-Fact article about the number of women on town boards in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio: Jenny Erickson and Victoria Solomon interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio about the women and political ambition research. (Approximately ten minutes.)

WORT Public Radio in Madison: Madison listener-supported radio station conducts interview with Dan Hill, Jenny Erickson, and Betty Grotophorst about women and political ambition for local public office.