Former U.S. Rep. Howard Berman on Tuesday endorsed Bobby Shriver in the runoff election to fill Zev Yaroslavsky's seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Berman praised Shriver for being "focused, bipartisan and committed" in his campaign to get AIDS medications to the sick in Africa.
Berman served for three decades in Congress, representing many of the same Westside and San Fernando Valley neighborhoods covered by the 3rd District supervisor's office.
After running in a newly redrawn district in 2012, Berman was defeated by U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, another Democrat. While chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Berman said, he worked closely with Shriver on the international effort to combat AIDS/HIV.
Shriver's efforts, along with philanthropic partner U2 rocker Bono, helped deliver medications to millions of Africans with HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases.
"Bobby's leadership on this issue was instrumental in providing lifesaving drugs for millions of people,'' Berman said in a statement. "As a L.A. County supervisor, I know Bobby will provide that same kind of leadership."
Shriver, 60, faces former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl, 73, in the Nov. 4 election. Berman's endorsement is important to Shriver because of the former congressman's prominence, especially in the vote-critical Valley.
In the June primary, Kuehl finished first out of eight candidates with 36% of the vote. Shriver came in second with 29%. Kuehl has secured the backing of much of the local Democratic Party, major labor groups, women's rights organizations and former colleagues in the Legislature. She's also been endorsed by Sherman, the sitting representative for the Valley portions of the district.
Shriver is being backed by a number of business groups, two of his former rivals for the supervisor's seat, some private-sector trade unions and a number of Westside activists. He said he was grateful for Berman's backing, calling him "an authentic mensch."
"I admire Howard Berman and consider him to be one of the truly great members of Congress,'' Shriver said in a statement.
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