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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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

South Dakota: Club for Growth 'Not Focused' on Rounds

Nov. 29, 2012

The conservative Club for Growth is taking a hands-off approach to former Gov. Michael Rounds’ Senate bid — at least for now.

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Nov. 28, 2012

Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

Illinois: Ex-Rep. Reynolds to Run for Former Seat in Special Election

Nov. 28, 2012

Disgraced former Rep. Mel Reynolds, a Democrat, will announced Wednesday afternoon that he’s seeking the Illinois 2nd District seat he once held, according to The Associated Press.

Illinois: Harris to Play Ball in 2nd District Special Election

Nov. 27, 2012

Count former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris in for Illinois’ 2nd District special election.

Illinois: Governor Schedules Feb. 26 Special Election Primary

Nov. 26, 2012

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has scheduled a Feb. 26 special election primary for former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat.

Jackson Resignation Spurs Crowded Race for the House in Chicagoland

Nov. 26, 2012

The resignation of Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. has opened a pipeline of aspiring Chicago Democrats eyeing the vacant seat.

lllinois: Halvorson Jumps Into Jackson Special

Nov. 26, 2012

Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill., will run in the special election to replace her former political nemesis, former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.

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