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'New generation' Republican to challenge Rep. Brad Sherman

PoliticsElectionsBrad ShermanJerry BrownHoward Lawrence BermanRepublican PartySame-Sex Marriage

A self-described "new generation Republican" is joining the race to try to unseat Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), who won a costly battle with a fellow Democrat in 2012.

Entrepreneur Pablo Kleinman, 42, is set to kick off his campaign Monday on local radio shows.

Kleinman, born in Argentina, said he wants to focus on, among other things, the economy and making improvements in schools. He said he supports charter schools and vouchers as ways to foster competition.  

He considers himself a social moderate, supporting individual choices on such issues as abortion and gay marriage.

"Government should stay out of our business" when it comes to such matters, he said.

Kleinman, who lives in Sherman Oaks with his Labradoodle, Milton, is making his first run for elected office. He owns an online travel guide and is an alternate talk show host on the Univision radio network.

He is presenting himself as the kind of candidate the GOP needs to improve its low standing in California, one that could appeal to Latinos and moderates and comes from outside the political establishment.

Other declared candidates against Sherman are Michael Powelson, a member of the Green Party, and Republican Mark Reed; both have run for the seat before.

Sherman emerged victorious from a bloody battle with then-Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) in a nationally watched fight spawned by newly drawn political districts and the state's fledgling open primary system. 

Those forces put Berman and Sherman's homes into the same San Fernando Valley congressional district, the 30th, and pitted the two members of the same party against one another in the general election.

Sherman said last week that he was unfamiliar with Kleinman but welcomed him to the race.

"I'm not willing to pay anybody else's filing fees," Sherman said, "but I think the more people we can get in the race the better."

The district is solidly Democratic in both registration and voting patterns. Democrats hold a 2-to-1 registration edge over Republicans, although about one-fifth of voters are unaffiliated with any party.

In 2012, the district went overwhelmingly for President Obama and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

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jean.merl@latimes.com
Twitter: @jeanmerl

 

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