Clay Shaw was elected to the U.S. House in 1980 with 55 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Alan S. Becker. Shaw was re-elected to five consecutive terms, facing no Democratic opposition in 1990.
He won re-election in 1992 with 58 percent of the vote defeating Democrat Gwen Margolis. He was re-elected in 1994 with 63 percent, defeating Democrat Hermine Wiener. He was re-elected in 1996 with 62 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Kenneth Cooper. He was re-elected in 1998 without opposition.
In 2000 he narrowly defeated Democratic state Rep. Elaine Bloom by 599 votes.
He defeated Democratic challenger Palm Beach County Commissioner Carol Roberts, best known nationally for serving on the county's canvassing board during the 2000 presidential election recount. He won the 2002 race with 61 percent of the vote.
Shaw served as mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from 1975 to 1981.