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Berman-Sherman debates in district race keep on coming

April 10, 2012 | 11:49 am

Reps. Brad Sherman, left, and Howard Berman at a candidates forum in February
Brad Sherman and Howard Berman could hardly be accused of ducking debates.  The veteran Democratic congressmen,  vying for the same San Fernando Valley seat in the House of Representatives,  have met to argue their cases at least five times since the first of the year. 

Next up is  a candidates debate Thursday in Granada Hills, starting at 7 p.m. at the Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences.  After that, there’s an April 30 forum at Cal State Northridge.  Free tickets are available at business2@csunas.org.

Republicans Mark Reed and Susan Shelley, running uphill contests in the solidly Democratic 30th Congressional District, have been included in most of these gatherings.  But Valley Democrats United hosted a forum last week featuring just Berman and Sherman, the best known, most politically experienced and by far the best financed of the seven candidates on the ballot for a contest that is expected to set a spending record for a House race.

The  three other candidates, Republican Navraj Singh, Democrat Vince Gilmore and Green Party member Michael W. Powelson, have not been included in any of the forums to date.

Not surprisingly, these events  are starting to sound somewhat alike, with candidates making the same points — and attacking each other over the same issues: for example, arguments between Sherman and Berman over who can claim the most credit for federal money to  improve  the 405 and 101 freeway interchanges. Neither candidate, however, seems likely to throw in the towel  on the forums any time soon.

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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Reps. Brad Sherman, left, and Howard Berman at a candidates forum in February.  Credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times

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