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Monday, October 09, 2006
Foley scandal playing in Shaw/Klein contest
From CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CNN) -- Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Florida, was already in a tight re-election race before news surfaced that then GOP-Rep. Mark Foley, who represents the district next to Shaw, sent inappropriate messages to teenage House pages.

Now Shaw, the senior member of Florida's congressional delegation, faces an increasingly unpredictable future as his Democratic challenger Ron Klein tries to associate Shaw with House Speaker Dennis Hastert's, R-Illinois, botched handling of the Foley scandal.

"It just reinforces this loss of trust and confidence in the leaders in Washington," Klein told CNN. "Mr. Shaw has taken a position that Mr. Hastert has done everything OK, which is very similar to the way Mr. Shaw responds to a lot of other things, just go along to get along."

But Shaw, who has been in the House for 26 years, prefers talking about other matters and touts his seniority to his constituency -- 25 percent of which is over the age of 60.

"The Democrats look at this as some kind of trophy that they'd like to take home," Shaw told CNN. "By unseating me and putting in a young freshman -- not too young actually -- but a freshman would be almost 80-years-old the time he got my seniority."
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