Sherman and Berman Will Clash in November

Sherman Gets Most Votes, But Contest Continues

By Rex Weiner

Published June 06, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jewish Democrats Brad Sherman and Howard Berman were headed for a face-off in the November general election after the two congressmen finished as the top two vote-getters in the June 5 primary.

Sherman led with 42% of the vote, compared to 32% for Berman, with five other candidates, including three Republicans, trailing far behind.

Under California’s new “jungle” primary system, candidates from all parties compete in the primary, with the top two earning spots on the general election ballot.

It’s the first time in recent memory that two incumbents from the same party have run against each other in a primary, not to mention two bald Jewish pro-Israel Democrats.

Turnout was high for a primary at an estimated 30%.

The unusual race was the result of redistricting which merged the two San Fernando Valley-based districts represented by the lawmakers into one.

Closely watched across the country, the Berman-Sherman contest has presented a painful choice for many Jews, including district voters locally and campaign donors nationally, who are being forced to choose between two strong Israel supporters with similar legislative records.

While Sherman was able to line up grassroots endorsements across the Valley, Berman’s 30-year congressional tenure has earned him high-ranking boosters from the state Democratic establishment to the White House. Hollywood has also turned out for Berman, a proponent of intellectual property rights issues crucial to the entertainment and media industries.

Campaign spending has been intense, with Berman topping Sherman by a 2:1 margin ($3.9 million vs. $1.8 million).

But that was only for the primary, which amounted to a beauty contest between the two frontrunners. Sherman’s war chest for the November election tallies $2.1 million more cash than Berman’s and both are expected to pour more dollars into the effort.

Berman and his wife Janis cast their votes early in the morning at Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village, later watching returns with supporters at campaign headquarters in Encino.

“We always knew this was going to be a tough fight” said Berman at the end of the day, “and our campaign will have the resources to take on my opponent and his dismal record.”

Sherman spoke to supporters at his post-election celebration at The Gate To The Mediterranean restaurant in Encino.

“You are here at a victory party that is a preparation for a victory party in November,” he proclaimed.

Reach Rex Weiner at rexweiner@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.