After the war, Ray Shafer returned to a law practice in Meadville and was elected Crawford County District Attorney for two terms, serving from 1948 to 1956. The Shafer family, including Diane, Raymond Philip, Jr., and Janie (1953-1999), always considered Meadville their home. Shafer has continually maintained a legal practice in Meadville with the firm currently known as the Shafer Law Firm, that is, Shafer, Swick, Bailey, Irwin Stack & Millin, Attorneys.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE SENATOR 1959-1963
Ray Shafer served as Senator from the 50th district (Crawford & Mercer Counties). In Harrisburg, Shafer established himself as one of the more liberal Republicans, voting in favor of controversial bills on fair housing and school reorganization.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR 1963-1966.
In March 1962, Ray Shafer accepted an offer to run as Lieutenant Governor with gubernatorial candidate William W. Scranton, considered a "dream ticket" by Pennsylvania's progressive Republicans. In November, they defeated the Democratic ticket led by Philadelphia Mayor Richardson Dilworth by a sizable margin of 475,000 votes. From the beginning of his term, Ray Shafer took an active role in Pennsylvania governmental duties and politics, to the point that political observers decided that the office of Lieutenant Governor was being significantly reshaped into an important position state-wide.
Proud of the achievements of their fellow citizen, Crawford County declared April 24, 1963 Ray Shafer Day. Another Ray Day was declared for February 12, 1965. Shafer also served as head of the Pennsylvania delegation to the Republican National Convention at San Francisco in July, 1964. This was the convention that nominated Barry Goldwater for president, and Ray Shafer's support of the Republican ticket that year would later come back to haunt him, when he had to defend himself against being a "Goldwater Republican."