Rep. Berman racks up House Dem endorsements in primary battle

Berman enjoys the support of most of the state’s Hispanic representatives. He has long advocated for farm workers and a comprehensive immigration reform plan, although 10 years ago some Hispanics were furious that his brother, Michael, helped Democrats draw a redistricting plan that made sure Berman would be reelected at the expense of a new Hispanic-majority district in the area.

Berman took a poke at Sherman in his statement.

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“I’m proud to have so many of my California colleagues standing with me and supporting my campaign,” he said. “Our colleagues work day in and day out with Brad and me; they see firsthand our work on behalf of California. This endorsement is evidence that when it comes getting things accomplished, I’m more than just another vote or just another voice — I deliver.”

Sherman's campaign pushed back, arguing support from outside the district would not affect the outcome of the race.

"Brad has over 350 endorsers, most of whom are in the district, including the San Fernando Democratic Party," said Sherman spokesman Ben Fishel. "While people outside the valley endorse others Brad is actually enjoying the support of people who are in the valley."

Berman might have solidified his support with the Latino legislators when he decided against running in the new, heavily Hispanic district that contained the largest swath of his current district, instead choosing a primary against Sherman.

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“It was a very important gesture on Berman’s part not to run in a Latino-majority district,” said Arturo Vargas, a Los Angeles-based Latino politics expert who works for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “In retrospect, I’m not surprised Berman would line up the support of Latinos in Congress — he’s been one of the strongest supporters of immigrants of any member in Congress.”

This is the latest good piece of news for Berman; he also raised $1.6 million in one star-studded Hollywood fundraiser a few weeks ago, although he still trails Sherman in cash on hand.

The 23 House Democrats come in addition to some other big-name Berman backers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D).

Sherman has touted a long list of local backers and was recently endorsed by the Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley, a large local Democratic organization.

Another advantage for Sherman:  he represents more than half of the new district, while Berman represents about one-quarter of it. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a close friend of Berman’s who had already endorsed him, represents much of the rest of the district.

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