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Shira T. Center


Shira T. Center (née Toeplitz) is the politics editor for Roll Call, where she oversees and assigns the publication's election coverage, including the "At the Races" blog. Under Shira's leadership, the politics desk traveled to cover 36 different House and Senate races from the ground in two dozen states during the midterms. Her team regularly breaks news on the cycle's most-watched congressional races, covering more contests than competitors and keeping the ultimate Capitol Hill insider in mind.

One of the Beltway’s best campaign reporters and analysts, she has covered politics from Alaska to New Hampshire and everywhere in between for a decade. An authority on congressional races, Shira possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the demographics and geography of House districts. She spearheaded Roll Call's coverage of the decennial redistricting process following the U.S. Census. Also during her tenure, 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.

A frequent guest on cable news programs, Shira regularly offers commentary on politics and campaigns for CNN, 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.

In 2014, Shira served as a resident fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics — one of the youngest professionals ever selected for the program. During the spring semester, she planned and led a series of eight discussions on women, media and congressional elections. Also that year, Shira won CQ Roll Call's Leadership Award for collaboration and innovation.

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 no longer works for CQ Roll Call.

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Media Appearances by Shira T. Center


Stories by Shira T. Center:

4 Effects of Voting Rights Ruling on 2014 Midterms

June 25, 2013

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act will change the country’s politics. And in some cases, the change could come as soon as 2014.

Supreme Court Strikes Key Parts of Voting Rights Law (Updated)

June 25, 2013

The Supreme Court has ruled key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional, dealing a disappointing decision to minority voting rights activists and asking Congress to develop new guidelines for the landmark law.

3 Ways to Rule on the Voting Rights Act

June 18, 2013

The Supreme Court is expected to rule next week on Section 5 of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, which requires certain states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval for any changes to voting laws.

Exclusive: Peter Roskam Expands Political Operation | Shop Talk

June 17, 2013

A top House Republican, Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, will expand his political operation in the coming weeks by dispatching his longtime top aide to the campaign trail.

Texas Members May Face Remap Redux

June 16, 2013

When the Supreme Court takes on a key part of a voting rights law later this month, Texas Democrats will be watching more closely than anyone on Capitol Hill.

Democratic Super PAC Goes on TV for Markey #MASEN

June 6, 2013

Senate Majority PAC, a top Democratic super PAC, announced plans for a “major statewide buy” Thursday in the special election in Massachusetts.

Top Democratic Senate Prospect Won't Run #WVSEN

June 3, 2013

Attorney Nick Preservati will not run for Senate in West Virginia, forcing Democrats to continue their search for a strong recruit in the 2014 battleground state.

Michele Bachmann Will Not Seek Re-Election #MN06

May 29, 2013

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced on Wednesday that she will not seek re-election in 2014.

Senate Candidate Recruitment Timelines Compared

May 9, 2013

Both parties suffered Senate recruitment setbacks last week when incumbent House members announced their decisions not to run statewide in 2014. But is it too early to declare a recruitment failure for either party in these races?

Detroit Democrats Expected to Flood Peters House Seat #MI14 | The Field

May 2, 2013

Now that Democratic Rep. Gary Peters has officially entered the Michigan Senate race, Detroit-area Democrats have started to eye his House seat for 2014.

Gary Peters Kicks Off Senate Bid #MISEN

May 2, 2013

Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., officially entered the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin on Wednesday during a visit to his great-great-grandfather’s house in Rochester Hills.

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.

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.

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.

Remainders: Big-Sky Dreams

April 23, 2013

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

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.

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.

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.

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.”)

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