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Republicans take shots in Berman-Sherman district race too

April 2, 2012 |  4:42 pm

Rivals Mark Reed and Susan Shelley have been taking potshots at each other.
Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman aren’t the only ones throwing brickbats at each other in the  contentious race for a newly drawn San Fernando Valley congressional district seat — the two lesser-known Republicans in the contest are slugging it out too.

Things heated up when Susan Shelley, a writer who calls herself a social moderate, released Los Angeles Superior Court documents about conservative businessman/rancher/actor Mark Reed’s criminal record. Shelley noted that Reed had been arrested in Los Angeles County six times, including twice  relating to drugs and twice for driver's license violations. In 2010 he was convicted on two counts of possessing a concealed weapon and sentenced to 36 months’ probation.

Shelley issued a news release about the record the day after Reed announced former President Reagan’s son Michael as a special guest at an April 10 fundraiser for Reed’s campaign.

Reed responded with a news release accusing Shelley of having a “meltdown” on three occasions and saying she “does not know how to take personal responsibility for her failing congressional campaign.”  He also issued detailed explanations of his criminal charges that he said Shelley had “distorted.” For example, the driver's license violations she cited occurred 23 years ago, he said.

“Haven’t we seen enough of the personal attacks by political candidates?” Reed said.

In the heavily Democratic 30th Congressional District, most of the attention has been on the high-cost contest between longtime lawmakers Berman and Sherman, whose homes ended up in the same district when new political maps were drawn by an independent commission last year.

Also on the ballot in the June 5 primary are Democrat Vince Gilmore, Republican Navraj Singh and Green Party member Michael W. Powelson. Under the state’s new elections system, all candidates will appear on the same ballot and the top two finishers, regardless of party, will compete in the November general election. Most observers expect Berman and Sherman to move on to the fall contest because of the district registration, their name recognition and the millions  of dollars they have for their campaigns.


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Photos: Mark Reed and Susan Shelley. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times