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 — the youngest professional 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 currently lives in D.C.’s H Street NE neighborhood with her husband.
Stories by Shira T. Center:
Nov. 14, 2014
Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., has a message for anyone who doubts his will or appetite for a second term.
Nov. 11, 2014
Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik’s path to victory in New York reflected the trajectory of the midterms nationally, as Republicans invaded Democratic territory to make double-digit gains in the House.
Nov. 10, 2014
As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.
Nov. 2, 2014
The cycle’s top campaign operatives will delve inside the races that decided the Senate majority in a special post-election briefing at CQ Roll Call’s Election Impact Conference.
Sept. 24, 2014
Less than 36 hours remain for readers to vote on a locale to send two Roll Call politics reporters to cover the midterms.
Sept. 23, 2014
Less than 36 hours remain for readers to vote on where to send Roll Call reporters Alexis Levinson and Emily Cahn to cover the final weeks of the midterms.
Sept. 23, 2014
Readers will have one more opportunity this week to pick the House and Senate races Roll Call will cover from the ground in the final weeks of the midterms.
Sept. 23, 2014
House Majority PAC has canceled a large television reservation in a competitive upstate New York district, the super PAC spokesman confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
Sept. 19, 2014
If the campaign committees had their way, Roll Call reporters would be heading to disparate locations during the final stretch of the midterms.
Sept. 17, 2014
Will it be Omaha or San Diego? Raleigh or Topeka? Lexington or Denver?
Sept. 15, 2014
In our unprecedented effort to cover the midterm elections, Roll Call has hit the campaign trail in 14 states so far this year, covering 24 congressional races and writing 36 datelined stories from Adel, Iowa, to Tallulah, Louisiana.
Sept. 5, 2014
NOGALES, Ariz. — Didn’t get to the border during your August recess to do research for your boss? We have you covered.
Aug. 24, 2014
PHOENIX — It’s a dry 108-degree heat this August afternoon, and Tony Valdovinos only prays it gets hotter. The curly-haired field director for Ruben Gallego, a Democrat running in the open House race here, has his reasons.
Aug. 18, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. — Operatives couldn’t make up a better candidate résumé if they tried: retired Air Force Colonel, first in her class at the U.S. Air War College, the first female fighter pilot in combat who flies the very plane — an A-10 Warthog — that’s economically essential to the 2nd District.
Aug. 12, 2014
PHOENIX — Once known for her progressive politics, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has coasted to the center in her first re-election.
Aug. 8, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. — Rep. Ron Barber guides his Ford through the flat, four-lane paved streets, ticking off landmarks on the corners of his desert city surrounded by jagged mountains.
July 30, 2014
Updated 5:22 p.m. | Freshman Rep. Roger Williams of Texas is gunning to challenge current National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden’s bid for a second term and is actively seeking meetings with members for his bid, CQ Roll Call has learned.
July 8, 2014
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dismissed allegations from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of impropriety in the Mississippi Republican primary — but noted it’s an issue for state officials to decide.
“I assume the people in Mississippi will look at what ever complaints are filed,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday when asked to comment on Cruz’s call for an investigation in to voter fraud. “That is what typically happens in a post election situation if there are complaints filed they are dealt with at the state level.”
“I think it’s pretty clear who won. Sen. [Thad Cochran, R-Miss.,] ran a very successful runoff campaign and got the most votes," McConnell added. "But anybody is entitled to contest the outcome and that may well may happen in Mississippi.”
July 8, 2014
The Republican National Convention is headed to The Cleve in 2016.
July 7, 2014
Who will be next to call Cleveland home: LeBron James, or the 2016 Republican National Convention?
June 25, 2014
So you want to be a reporter? You want to join the profession listed as among the worst jobs of 2014, at a time when publishing industry is going through a “period of turmoil”?
May 16, 2014
Want to get a reaction in Washington D.C. media?
May 6, 2014
Primary season has just begun in earnest, but it’s already clear it will take a toll on this Congress.
April 29, 2014
Is there any job out there better than being a Capitol Hill flack? No, this is not a rhetorical question. There’s something about pitching your boss, day-in and day-out, through votes, campaigns, cable TV interviews and the occasional scandal, that allows you to go home with a satisfied grin of a job well done.
April 9, 2014
SALEM, Mass. — Rep. John F. Tierney may have successfully put a family legal scandal far enough behind him to win re-election in 2012, but he’s facing another test. And this time, the Massachusetts Democrat’s challenge is primarily political.