Berman, Sherman clash continues to fall election
Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman handily outdistanced their five little-known, underfinanced challengers in Tuesday's primary, ensuring that the high-spending, nationally watched showdown between two liberal Democratic congressmen will continue through the November general election.
With more than half the precincts reporting, Sherman, of Sherman Oaks, and Berman, of Valley Village, finished first and second, respectively, giving them both a place on the fall ballot under the state's new "top two" primary system as they battle to represent the San Fernando Valley's 30th Congressional District.
The contest, sparked when an independent citizens commission last summer drew new political maps that placed the congressmen's homes in the same district, has split the Democratic Party and prompted hand-wringing from those who liked both men and don't want to see either leave Congress.
Sherman has emphasized his local visibility and service to constituents while attacking Berman as a globe-trotting elitist who spent taxpayer money on junkets. Berman drew support from most of the state's political stars, including Gov. Jerry Brown, and courted Republican and independent voters.
Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district, 48% to 26%, with 21% of voters unaffiliated.
Also on the ballot were one other Democrat, three Republicans and a member of the Green Party.
-- Jean Merl
Photo: The race between Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman for a newly redrawn Valley district will continue through the November general election. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times