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:
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.
March 27, 2014
Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., locked in an increasingly competitive race for Senate, will debut his first television spot this week during two Wolverine State college basketball games.
Jan. 13, 2014
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has raised $10.4 million so far for his committee for the midterm elections, topping the previous fundraising record for his post at this point in the cycle.
Jan. 8, 2014
On the surface, the recent slew of House Republican retirements from competitive districts should boost Democrats’ hopes of winning the majority in 2014.
Jan. 8, 2014
Updated 1:09 p.m. | Two longtime House Democrats — Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Carolyn McCarthy of New York — will not seek re-election in 2014, according to multiple Democratic sources.
Jan. 6, 2014
Updated 1:48 PM, 2:20 PM, 4:53 PM | Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2014, marking yet another moderate House Republican to leave Congress.
Jan. 2, 2014
This cycle’s best bellwether for Senate control is North Carolina, where Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is seeking re-election in this increasingly frequent battleground state.
Jan. 1, 2014
The House isn’t very popular these days, so why would anyone want to return there after a 20-year hiatus? The answer — if there is one — is just one reason why the crowded primary for this suburban Philadelphia, strong Democratic district is so fascinating.
Dec. 31, 2013
Like many politics news consumers/news people working during the holidays, I’ve read a lot of listicles in the last couple weeks (some even on Roll Call). My eyes now glaze over when the words “best of” run across my Tweetdeck.
Dec. 20, 2013
Updated 4 p.m. | The campaign arm of House Democrats brought in $5 million during November, according to figures shared first with CQ Roll Call by a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide.
Nov. 4, 2013
The midterm elections are one year away, but it’s already clear that days are numbered for some endangered House members.
Nov. 1, 2013
Democrats have taken a few pages from Rahm Emanuel’s playbook in hopes of boosting their difficult quest to win the House majority in 2014.
Oct. 2, 2013
In a matter of months, a once-discreet Rep. Charlie Dent has emerged as the new spokesman for the House GOP’s moderate wing.
Sept. 30, 2013
Longtime Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2014, according to several local news outlets and a statement from his office.
Sept. 27, 2013
Roll Call politics reporter Kyle Trygstad announced the birth of his first child, Michaela Rayne Trygstad, on Friday afternoon.
Sept. 25, 2013
Former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., announced on Wednesday that she will not seek a rematch with her two-time rival, Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.
Aug. 23, 2013
Republican Carl DeMaio’s campaign confirmed late Friday that he is speaking with supporters who are urging him to run for mayor now that disgraced San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has submitted his resignation.
Aug. 14, 2013
Former Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., will not attempt a congressional comeback bid in 2014, opting to seek statewide office instead.
Aug. 6, 2013
Former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik will announce her bid to challenge Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., on Tuesday, kicking off her quest for one of the GOP’s most elusive House seats in the Empire State.
July 11, 2013
A super PAC that supports Sen. David Vitter raised a whopping $750,000 in the past six months to aid the Louisiana Republican’s re-election or a possible gubernatorial bid in the next couple of years.
July 5, 2013
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., placed a six-figure television buy more than a year ahead of Tennessee’s primary, enlisting Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as a guest star, according to an Alexander spokesman.
June 26, 2013
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed the Lone Star State’s new congressional map into law, ending the state’s long and twisted redistricting saga of the 2012 cycle.