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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:

Shop Talk: Entire New Hampshire Democratic Party Slate Unopposed

Jan. 21, 2013

As the saying goes, there are only two ways to run a race: scared or unopposed.

Minnesota GOP Faces Rocky Path to Recovery in 2014

Jan. 17, 2013

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the Republican Party of Minnesota hit rock bottom.

Five Races to Watch in 2013

Jan. 14, 2013

After a hard-fought and highly charged presidential battle in 2012 — not to mention Congressional races and redistricting — one might hope that 2013 would provide a respite from campaign politics. No such luck.

Iowa: Braley's Gubernatorial Aspirations and Tea Leaves for Harkin's Re-Election Decision

Jan. 14, 2013

Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley has stepped up his interest in running for governor of Iowa in 2014, according to a weekend report in the Des Moines Register.

Biden Embraces Beltway Insider Role With Eye on 2016

Jan. 13, 2013

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s bona fides as the ultimate Capitol Hill creature have gotten a significant boost since the November elections, first in the fiscal cliff negotiations and now via the gun violence task force he’s leading.

Shop Talk: DCCC Rounds Out Senior Staff, Including Many Returning Aides

Jan. 8, 2013

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce more senior staff hires Wednesday — a roster that includes many returning aides from the 2012 cycle.

Illinois: Cook County CAO Robin Kelly Wins Top Spot on Special Election Ballot

Jan. 8, 2013

Democrat Robin Kelly hit the jackpot — sort of.

Illinois: Filing Period Closes for Jackson Special Election

Jan. 7, 2013

Twenty-two candidates filed to run in the special election for former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat before Monday’s deadline.

Reading the Tea Leaves for 2014 and Beyond in Cliff Vote

Jan. 2, 2013

Late-night votes on the fiscal cliff package capped off New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day this week — and delivered the first politically significant vote of the 2014 cycle.

Minnesota: Paulsen Senate Bid Not So 'Ridiculous' After All

Jan. 2, 2013

Updated 8:01 p.m. | For a brief period on Wednesday it appeared Republicans could count Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., out of the race against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in 2014.

Gun Violence Plays Heavily in Illinois Special

Dec. 19, 2012

There were headline-grabbing mass shootings in Tucson, Ariz.; Aurora, Colo.; and Newtown, Conn. — and then there’s daily life in Chicago.

Hawaii: Hanabusa Will Apply for Appointment to Inouye's Seat

Dec. 19, 2012

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, will apply for an appointment to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who died Monday.

Hanabusa Appointment Would Risk House Seat

Dec. 18, 2012

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie must pick a successor to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye from a list of three Democrats submitted by the state party.

Illinois: Democrats Still Divided on 2nd District Candidate

Dec. 17, 2012

Southside Chicago Democrats have failed to agree on a consensus candidate for the 2nd District special election.

White House Vows Action on Gun Control; Details Scarce

Dec. 17, 2012

President Barack Obama has raised the stakes for national action to reduce gun violence following the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre, but the White House and top Democrats in Congress continue to choose their words carefully on a subject that has bedeviled the party for two decades.

Manchin Open to New Gun Control Conversation

Dec. 17, 2012

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III, who has had the support of the National Rifle Association, joined the call for a conversation about new gun control measures Monday in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Senate Appointment Dicey for Bay State Members

Dec. 17, 2012

A trio of tenured Massachusetts House Democrats have lusted after statewide office for decades, and with Sen. John Kerry’s imminent appointment to be secretary of State, they finally have their best shot.

Michigan Fight Symbolizes Coming Changes in Delegation

Dec. 13, 2012

Michigan once served as a national bastion for organized labor, economic prosperity and moderate Republicans. Not anymore.

Huelskamp Sounds Off on Losing Committee Spots

Dec. 13, 2012

Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas learned last week that he and three other Republicans were stripped of key committees assignments by the House Steering Committee, which is under the control of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

Members Eye Opportunities in Gubernatorial Races

Dec. 10, 2012

Members of Congress looking to ascend the political food chain — and leave Washington, D.C. — will have a plethora of opportunities in 2014.

Pennsylvania: Schwartz for Governor?

Dec. 7, 2012

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz made waves Friday morning by picking up a new finance director with statewide experience. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the Democratic lawmaker’s hire of Aubrey Montgomery fuels speculation she’s looking at running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2014.

More Redistricting Ahead in Texas, Maybe Florida

Dec. 5, 2012

A handful of members shouldn’t get too comfortable in the districts where they just won. Those districts might be changing soon.

Illinois: Special Election Candidate Charged With Trying to Bring Gun on Plane

Dec. 5, 2012

State Sen. Donne Trotter, a Democratic candidate in the 2nd District special election, has been charged with trying to bring a weapon onto a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Illinois: Democratic Field Solidifies for 2nd District Special Election

Dec. 3, 2012

At least seven well-known Democrats will run in next year’s special primary for former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat on the south side of Chicago.

Running for Congress? Try, Try Again

Dec. 2, 2012

Running for Congress? The second time might be the charm.

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