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Democrat Sherman gets backing from local Republican lawmakers

September 12, 2012 |  2:38 pm

Rep. Brad Sherman, hoping to counter his fellow Democrat rival's backing from nationally prominent Republicans, on Wednesday touted endorsements from local GOP lawmakers.

Claiming to be endorsed "by every Republican official who lives in or near the San Fernando Valley,"  Sherman engaged in some oneupmanship with Rep. Howard Berman, who is competing with him this fall for the same San Fernando Valley congressional district seat.

Sherman backers include Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander, and his predecessor, Greig Smith, plus Burbank City Councilman Gary Bric and Assemblyman Cameron Smyth of Santa Clarita. That's a short list because much of the L.A. area, like the 30th Congressional District that Sherman and Berman are battling over, is strongly Democratic.

But Berman and Sherman have been courting GOP and non-affiliated voters since redrawn political maps put their homes in the same district and the state's new elections system allowed members of the same party to advance to the general election.

Earlier this week, Berman won backing from Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. 

Berman also got the endorsement of Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a former Democrat who turned independent. Sherman had a counter for that one too--L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine, who is registered as declining to state a party affiliation.

The Sherman campaign dismissed Berman's endorsers as stemming from his "early efforts to give George W. Bush the full authority to invade Iraq" and said local support is more important.

"These officials--unlike Berman's GOP supporters--are not focused on foreign policy," Sherman said in a statement announcing his endorsements. "Instead, they back me because of my record of delivering for the Valley and fighting for fiscal responsibility."


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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Reps. Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman at a candidates forum early this year. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times