What drives individuals toward a career in politics? Prior research on political ambition has often focused on socio-demographic variables while generally ignoring the importance of individual personality differences. Yet personality consistently predicts political knowledge, interest and participation, suggesting that individual differences may matter in addition to resources and the social environment. To this end, we assess the impact of both the HEXACO and Dark Triad models of personality in predicting nascent political ambition (that is, the initial desire to run for elected office) while controlling for well-established socio-demographic variables (for example, gender, income). Overall, we find considerable support for the predictive power of personality, especially the traits of honesty-humility, extraversion and narcissism. These results have important implications for understanding the kinds of people who are interested in a political career.