Berman-Sherman debate turns nasty, in a House race that is already heated

October 12, 2012

There was a very heated debate Thursday, and we're not talking about the one between Vice President Biden and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (Wis.) in Danville, Ky. 


Rep. Brad Sherman (Hans Gutknecht/Associated Press)

All the way on the other side of the country, one of the cycle's most heated member-versus-member showdowns grew ever more contentious when a candidate forum for California Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman nearly came to blows. 

Literally.

During an exchange, Sherman put his arm around Berman, and asked: "Do you want to get into this," the Los Angeles Times reported

Berman's campaign posted video of the exchange online: 

A uniformed security officer can be seen stepping up behind the two candidates during the fracas. And the crowd really got into it. 


Rep. Howard Berman (Hans Gutknecht /Associated Press)

Following redistricting,  Berman and Sherman are both vying for a San Fernando Valley district. Due to California'a newly installed top-two primary system, they both advanced to the November election from a primary that was open to candidates of all parties. 

Even before the Thursday debate. the Berman-Sherman race had been expensive and contentious. At one point in the race, Sherman looped Berman's brother into a Federal Election Commission complaint. The contest has even attracted the attention of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who decided to back Berman after taking issue with a Sherman campaign mailer. 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Natalie Jennings · October 12, 2012