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Brad Sherman wins 30th Congressional District seat in Valley

November 7, 2012 |  6:59 am
Brad Sherman

Rep. Howard Berman conceded to fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman after a bitter fight with his younger House colleague over a San Fernando Valley seat.

The race grew so contentious that at one point the two got physical at a Pierce College candidates forum. Berman stepped close to Sherman as the congressmen argued hotly, and Sherman thrust his arm around Berman, shouting, “You want to get into this?”

In his concession statement, Berman said, "I congratulate Brad .... I will do whatever I can to ensure a cooperative and orderly transition."

The battle between the two men with similar voting records grew from two recent changes in the state’s political landscape: fresh political maps that put both their homes in the reconfigured 30th Congressional District and a new top-two primary system that lets two members of the same party compete in the general election.

Sherman, 58, went on the attack almost from the start, taking swipes at the 71-year-old Berman’s age and criticizing his votes on foreign trade agreements and initial legislation to rescue the nation’s troubled financial  institutions.

Berman at first tried to stay above the fray, emphasizing his achievements in three decades in Congress and his reputation for working effectively across party lines. But he changed course after finishing 10 points behind Sherman in the primary, and the race grew increasingly testy. Berman launched a “BS Report” to knock Sherman’s style and what it characterized as Sherman’s lack of substantive legislation.   

Spending by the campaigns and outside groups had surpassed $13 million as election day neared.

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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Brad Sherman with supporters Tuesday night. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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