Studies of United States state legislators' and mayors' pathways to office. Data about state legislators and mayors of big cities were gathered through survey instruments that consisted primarily of questions concerning the decision to seek office, previous political experience, and personal background. All women serving in the legislatures of the 50 states were surveyed, along with a random sample of men state legislators; men were randomly selected and sampled in proportion to the number of women serving in each chamber and state. All women mayors of cities with a population of 30,000 and above serving in 2008 were surveyed, along with a random sample of men mayors. Demographic variables include age, education, race, and marital status.