U.S. Congressman told theon Tuesday night that he was “not surprised” and not worried about the endorsing his rival, . (See the recent press release.)
“I think this is of minimal significance in terms of the election,” Berman said after he was asked about the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley endorsement in the race at the . “Brad has lived with the group for many years.”
Sherman was in the audience, but did not speak. The new district boundaries, which include all of Studio City, will pit Berman and Sherman, both Democrats, against each other.
Berman lives in Valley Village and Sherman lives in Sherman Oaks. Both candidates met with the executive board of the Democratic Party, which voted by 62 percent to endorse Sherman.
"I offered Brad a solution so that we wouldn't have to run against each other," Berman said, "but he hasn't taken it." The Los Angeles Times recently published an editorial about it.
As a California State Assemblyman, Berman represented all of Studio City; and in the past either all of the 91604 ZIP Code that includes Studio City, or only the western part of the area was included in his district.
Berman said he believes the new district boundaries, which have a heavy Latino segment, will benefit him.
Berman said he anticipated that the Valley Democratic Party group would endorse Sherman and that it is a “minor event.” He said he belives he'll have the endorsement of many of the entertainment unions and local groups.
Agi Kessler, chairman of the Valley Democrats, said, “Congressman Sherman is an effective champion for middle-class jobs, quality affordable healthcare, outstanding public schools and a clean and healthy environment. That's why Democratic activists are committed to working vigorously to keep Brad Sherman in Congress."
Parke Skelton, Sherman's campaign consultant, said, “I think the areas where Berman has been out of step with his party are Iraq and trade deals that ship jobs overseas. He was one of the very last Dems supporting Bush on Iraq, for example. I also think that Berman just has not been around in the Valley that much. The activist base just doesn't know him.”
Berman pointed out that Studio City resident Anita Hirsh, who was in the audience, took him as a fledgling state assemblyman on a hike through to help make it and other areas part of the state park system. He has also worked on local issues such as helicopter noise and expansion, as well as international issues.
“I’m pretty comfortable with the situation,” Berman said. “I will have to work hard, but I will continue to do so and I will do so …. 30 years from now, too.”