Former U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. of Fort Lauderdale is dead at 74
Former U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., a Fort Lauderdale Republican who served in Congress for 26 years, died Tuesday night after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 74. An obituary is here.
Shaw championed welfare reform in the 1990s and was popular in a moderate, coastal district that at various times included parts of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway on the 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale bears his name -- a symbol of his effectiveness at bringing home the bacon to his Broward County constituents.
He personified a more civil style of politics, and voters in coastal Broward continued to elect him year after year, though he had some memorably tough and hard-fought races. In 2000, Shaw narrowly defeated Rep. Elaine Bloom of Miami Beach. In the reapportionment year of 1992, he prevailed in a rough-and-tumble race against then-Senate President Gwen Margolis.
Shaw ultimately lost his seat in 2006 to Democrat Ron Klein of Boca Raton. Shaw also was one of a number of prominent Republicans considered for Florida's vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2009, but then-Gov. Charlie Crist chose his former chief of staff, George LeMieux.
Family members said a memorial service for Shaw will be held at a later date.