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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:

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

Nov. 4, 2012

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney made their closing pitches to swelled crowds of swing state supporters in the final weekend before voters deliver their verdict, while top surrogates hit the Sunday show circuit to spin their map to victory on Tuesday.

Indiana: Howey Poll Gives Donnelly Big Edge Over Mourdock

Nov. 2, 2012

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) led state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) by 11 points in the latest bipartisan survey from Howey Politics Indiana.

Illinois: Bloomberg Super PAC Buys $730K in Airtime for Robert Dold

Nov. 1, 2012

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC will back Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) with $730,000 worth of television ads, according to three GOP sources tracking media buys.

Candidates Abandon Campaign Trail to Dial for Dollars

Oct. 31, 2012

Congressional candidates don’t get out as much as they used to.

Joe Walsh Struggles With Crossover Appeal in Chicago Suburbs

Oct. 31, 2012

PALATINE, Ill. — Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R) and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) have polar opposite personalities and politics. But they have one unusual similarity in this House race: They are both battling their national profiles to win this northwestern suburban Chicago House seat.

Changed Politics and District Haunt Judy Biggert in Illinois

Oct. 30, 2012

LEMONT, Ill. — Rep. Judy Biggert built a reputation as a genteel Republican willing to work across the aisle during her 14 years in Congress.

Robert Dold Fights District, Party Label in Bid for Second Term

Oct. 30, 2012

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Freshman Rep. Robert Dold boasts the dubious distinction of representing the most Democratic district of any Republican Member of the House.

House Majority PAC Airs Final Spots in Nine Races

Oct. 30, 2012

Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC today will announce its final flight of advertisements in nine key races.

Illinois: Democrats' Redistricting Crown Jewel Not as Royal as Expected

Oct. 30, 2012

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Democratic hopes of winning the House majority have been quashed, but in this northern Chicago suburb’s crowded village hall on a Saturday morning, one can see the glimmer of what might have been.

Indiana: Mourdock's Post-Debate Poll Shows Tied Race

Oct. 26, 2012

CHICAGO — Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s (R) campaign released a poll this morning showing a tied Senate race after his Tuesday night debate, when he called pregnancy from rape something that “God intended.”

No Room for Error in Indiana Senate Contest

Oct. 24, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — By now, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock should know when to hold his tongue.

Indiana: Richard Mourdock Apologizes to Those Who Misunderstood Comments

Oct. 24, 2012

Updated 3:45 p.m. |INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) sought to clarify his controversial debate comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something that God intended to happen” this morning, apologizing to those who misunderstood his remarks but standing by their intended meaning.

Indiana: John Cornyn Stands by Richard Mourdock After Abortion Comments

Oct. 24, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is standing by his nominee in Indiana, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who said pregnancy that results from rape “is something God intended to happen” in the final Senate debate Tuesday night.

In Debate, Richard Mourdock Says Pregnancy From Rape Something 'God Intended to Happen'

Oct. 23, 2012

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — In the final, high-stakes debate before Election Day, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) touched on an issue that has bedeviled another Republican Senate candidate, saying that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Indiana: Internal Poll Shows Joe Donnelly Holds 2-Point Lead

Oct. 23, 2012

MADISON, Ind. — Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) will release internal polling today showing him with a 2-point lead over his Senate opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R).

Age More Than Just a Number for Mandel, Brown in Ohio Battle

Oct. 22, 2012

MARIETTA, Ohio — Many Ohio voters describe Josh Mandel as a “young” 35. His hairless chin and wiry frame means even his supporters underestimate his age by a decade.

After 'Brutal' Races, Steve Stivers Sits Pretty in Redrawn Ohio District

Oct. 21, 2012

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — It’s less than three weeks before Election Day, and Rep. Steve Stivers (R) appears relaxed for the first time in six years.

Ohio: Sherrod Brown, Josh Mandel Get Testy and Personal in Debate

Oct. 18, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) were alternately feisty and condescending in a debate tonight in the state’s capital city.

Ohio Members Drowned Out by Ads

Oct. 17, 2012

MEDINA, Ohio — Parking officer Bud Haynes can’t be bothered to remember any candidates he watches on local television commercials anymore.

Ohio: Jim Renacci Attacks Betty Sutton on Cash for Clunkers

Oct. 17, 2012

CANTON, Ohio — The auto industry reigns in this northeastern corner of the Buckeye State, and three years after Congress passed Cash for Clunkers, the issue persists on the campaign trail.

Pennsylvania: Tom Smith Takes Advantage of National Trends With Deep Pockets

Oct. 17, 2012

SHELOCTA, Pa. — Atop hundreds of acres of lush farmland, a bold white sign directs visitors to the “Smith Complex” — the hilltop home of wealthy former coal company owner Tom Smith.

Mark Critz Is Fighting Barack Obama’s Ballot Drag to Keep His Seat

Oct. 15, 2012

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. — Rep. Mark Critz (D) receives a few skeptical looks as he greets the hundreds of Second Amendment enthusiasts filing into Sunday’s Gun Bash at the Crowfoot Sportsman’s Club.

Massachusetts: Tierney Cuts Back on TV Before Election Day

Oct. 12, 2012

Updated 8 p.m. | Embattled Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) no longer has advertisements on the books for Oct. 23 through Election Day in the pricey Boston market, according to two GOP sources who track media buys.

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows 10-Point Senate Race

Oct. 12, 2012

Sen. Bob Casey (D) led his opponent, former coal company owner Tom Smith (R), by 10 points in a new Philadelphia Inquirer survey released today.

Joseph Biden, Paul Ryan Spar in Spirited Debate

Oct. 11, 2012

A testy Vice President Joseph Biden wrangled with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan on Thursday night in their only debate, which focused mostly on foreign policy.

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