By Jonathan Easley - 10/12/12 11:25 AM EDT
California Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman appeared to nearly come to blows at their debate Thursday night.
A police officer separated the two congressmen, who are locked in a tight, nasty primary fight, after Sherman put his arm around Berman and seemed to challenge him to a fight.
“Howard, you want to get into this?” Sherman shouted as he wrapped his arm around Berman and squeezed him tight.
A police officer then approached from behind and placed his hand on Sherman in an attempt to calm him down. The crowd whooped and cheered throughout the moment.
Berman campaign adviser Brandon Hall said in a statement the altercation was evidence Sherman was “unsuitable” for office.
According to the Jewish Journal, Sherman became agitated after Berman took credit for authoring the DREAM Act, which offers a pathway to citizenship to illegal immigrants who came to the United States when they were young and then go to college or serve in the military.
Berman and Sherman are facing off in a heavily Democratic district after finishing as the top two candidates in California’s new all-party primary in early June.
Polling for the race has been sparse, but a KABC poll released late last month showed Sherman ahead with 45 percent support over Berman at 32, although 23 percent said they were undecided.