Studies of how previous political experience affects a candidate’s electoral success have overlooked the experience that candidates get from running campaigns even if they lose. This article argues that experience running for office, whether successfully or unsuccessfully, could give candidates several benefits, such as expertise in running strong campaigns, a network of connections, and visibility among the electorate. As a result, candidate experience, not just office-holding experience, should be positively correlated with electoral success. The article tests this expectation in Brazil using a database of candidates for seven types of elected offices between 1998 and 2018. It finds that candidates who ran for, but lost, elected offices are more likely to win when they run in future elections for the same and lower-ranked offices, compared to candidates with no experience running for office. Thus, candidate experience, not just office-holding experience, is important for explaining electoral success in politics.