This article examines two traditional and four new explanations of committee composition. Using survey data on 541 Danish local politicians' pre-election committee seat preferences and their actual post-election committee seats, it is found that politicians are more likely to have their committee seat preferences fulfilled the less their preferences for the committees' policy domains differ from those of their fellow party members and the more specialised they are within the jurisdiction area of their preferred committee. Thus, the ex ante control of committee members sometimes observed in the American context is also relevant in the very different institutional setting of Danish local government. Moreover, a number of other explanations are found to be of equal relevance. In particular, individual-level popular support is important to politicians' committee seat preference fulfilment and seats are distributed among party members in order to assure that everybody, at least to some extent, obtains a post that they find attractive. The findings thus suggest that ex ante control of committee members is but one of many concerns of parties. Accordingly, scholars should broaden their attention to other aspects of committee seat allocation, such as fair share norms and the popular support of politicians.