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Shira T. Center


Shira T. Center (née Toeplitz) is the politics editor for Roll Call. One of the Beltway’s best campaign reporters and analysts, she has covered politics from Alaska to New Hampshire and everywhere in between for nearly a decade.

During her tenure at Roll Call, Shira was the first national reporter to interview Sen. Al Franken after his election and the last to do an extended interview with Sarah Palin before she was selected as the GOP vice-presidential pick. An authority on congressional races, Shira spearheaded her publication's coverage of the decennial redistricting process following the U.S. Census. She possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the demographics and geography of Congressional districts and she can articulate the intricacies of voting rights laws in digestible and interesting ways.

A frequent guest on cable news programs, Shira has offered commentary on politics and campaigns for ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and FOX. She has been a featured speaker at her alma mater, Northwestern University, as well as at American University and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. She regularly speaks to Running Start, a nonpartisan program for collegiate women in politics, and serves on that group's Advisory Council.

Shira has worked in Washington as a political reporter and writer since 2005. She was formerly a staff writer for Politico and for National Journal’s the Hotline, and her writing has also appeared in the Washington Post and Washingtonian.

Shira graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in political science, earning honors for her thesis on gender and political communications. Shira hails from Pittsburgh and is an avid Steelers fan. She currently lives in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood with her husband and cat, who are also Steelers fans.

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Media Appearances by Shira T. Center


Stories by Shira T. Center:

Todd Young for ... ? #INSEN #INGOV

May 1, 2013

When does a website signal a politician’s aspirations? When it changes.

Pennsylvania GOP Hopes to Avoid Corbett Ticket Drag #PAgov

April 30, 2013

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s tumble in the polls has made Republicans nervous about four pivotal Philadelphia-area House districts.

Gary Peters to Enter Michigan Senate Race #MIsen

April 29, 2013

Rep. Gary Peters will announce his campaign for Senate on Wednesday, giving Democrats a top candidate to run for the open seat in Michigan.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: I am NOT Retiring #FL27

April 26, 2013

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is not retiring from Congress — much to the chagrin of Democrats eyeing her increasingly competitive Miami-area seat.

Remainders: 867-5309/Jenny, Don't Change Your Number

April 25, 2013

What we’re mulling on Thursday …

Daylin Leach Talks Marijuana, Progressive Politics and Rock #PA13 | The Candidate

April 25, 2013

Editor’s note: Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Writer Stuart Rothenberg. This new blog feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses have been edited and condensed.

Bill Nelson Mulls Bid for Florida Governor

April 25, 2013

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is considering a bid against GOP Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.

Former Todd Akin Consultant Has Controversial Past | Shop Talk

April 25, 2013

Earlier this week, Abby Livingston broke the news about a major shake-up at a prominent GOP consulting firm, The Strategy Group for Media. One of the firm’s most prolific ad-makers, SGM President Nick Everhart, said he was terminated via email late on a Saturday night earlier this month.

Remainders: Big-Sky Dreams

April 23, 2013

What you might have missed “At the Races” on Tuesday …

Democrats Markey, Lynch Resume Campaigns #MAsen

April 22, 2013

Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch resumed their Senate special-election campaigns on Monday. It’s been one week since the two Bay State Democrats suspended political activities after the Boston Marathon bombing.

House Republicans Announce Vulnerable Incumbents for Patriot Program

April 22, 2013

The House GOP’s campaign arm unveiled the first round of vulnerable incumbents for its Patriot program on Monday morning, suggesting which members it believes could need the most help in 2014.

NRCC Raises $8.1 Million in March but Trails DCCC

April 18, 2013

The House GOP’s campaign organization raised $8.1 million in March for its efforts to keep the speaker’s gavel in Republican hands.

Delaware: The Return of Christine O'Donnell?

April 18, 2013

In 2010, Christine O’Donnell famously defeated then-Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., in the GOP Senate primary — then lost the general election to now-Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat. (See “I’m not a witch… I’m you.”)

Money Reveals Some Members Aren't Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

April 18, 2013

If Reps. Steve King,Jeff Fortenberry andNick J. Rahall II are serious about running for Senate, their campaign fundraising does not show it.

Members Cough Up $4.3M for DCCC

April 17, 2013

House Democrats’ campaign arm raised an unprecedented $22.6 million in the first quarter of this year, thanks in large part to member contributions, committee officials say.

Hey, Big (House Race) Spender!

April 17, 2013

Running a congressional campaign can be expensive. But it’s rare for House members to spend almost as much as they raised in the first quarter of a two-year election cycle.

Illinois: Rodney Davis Raises $401K in First Quarter

April 10, 2013

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., raised just north of $401,000 in his first full fundraising quarter in Congress, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

Illinois: Republican Preps for Foster Challenge With D.C. Trip

April 10, 2013

State Rep. Darlene Senger will meet with Republicans in Washington, D.C., this week in preparation to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster next year.

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

April 9, 2013

Maybe you were hiding under a rock today. Or stuck in multiple, hours-long meetings. Or outside enjoying the unseasonably nice Washington, D.C., weather.

Pennsylvania: Schwartz Officially Enters Race for Governor

April 8, 2013

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa., has officially entered the race for governor, filing paperwork Monday to run against GOP Gov. Tom Corbett.

NRSC to GOP Consultants: Got Any Better Ideas?

April 4, 2013

Want a lucrative consulting contract from the National Republican Senatorial Committee or one of their top candidates this cycle? First, a few questions.

West Virginia: Capito Raises $915,000 for Senate Bid

April 3, 2013

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has kicked off her Senate campaign with strong fundraising, bringing in $915,000 in her first full quarter as a statewide candidate.

NRCC Makes Small Ad Buys In Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota

March 29, 2013

The National Republican Congressional Committee has bought airtime in three television markets in the next week, according to a Democrat and a Republican who monitor media buys.

3 Reasons Why Don Young Is Alaska's Political Teflon

March 29, 2013

Longtime Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, drew anger from colleagues and voters when he referred to Hispanic farm workers as “wetbacks” this week. Young tried to explain the slur as outdated terminology from his youth, even as Speaker John A. Boehner demanded he apologize.

Arkansas: Pryor Disses Bloomberg's Gun Control Media Blitz

March 25, 2013

The first sign that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $12 million gun control ad campaign targeting senators might not go as planned?

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