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Berman, Sherman battle into Election Day

Congressmen Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman, right, are shown in undated file photos.

November 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
One of the nation's costliest and toughest congressional races will be decided on Election Day in the San Fernando Valley, when two veteran lawmakers, Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, square off.

Rep. Sherman and his staff were busy Monday working the phones, trying to secure votes in Tuesday's election. Enthusiastic supporters of Rep. Berman were also hard at work at his campaign headquarters.

Redistricting has forced the veteran congressmen, both Democrats, to battle it out for the San Fernando Valley's 30th District.

With the campaign in its final hours, Berman, a 30-year congressional veteran, and Sherman, a 16-year veteran, focused on similar issues.

"The biggest issues are jobs and the second biggest issue is jobs, and the third biggest issue is strengthening our education system," Berman said.

"It's all about the economy, it's about jobs and it's about home values," Sherman said. "I'm a strong supporter of efforts to create jobs. I'm a strong supporter of the president's jobs bill."

The bitter race took an ugly turn last month. During a debate, the candidates were having a heated exchange about an immigration bill when Sherman got physical with Berman by placing his arm over his opponent's shoulder and leaning in. A sheriff's deputy stepped between the two men. A video of the encounter received thousands of views on YouTube.

"Much of the tone has been very good, but if only 1 percent of the time the tone gets a little more robust than it should, that, of course, is what people are going to concentrate on," Sherman said.

Berman used the incident in a campaign ad.

"It really wasn't the temperament you would expect in a public official," Berman said.