Howard Berman outraises Brad Sherman but still lags in cash on hand


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The weekend brought good news and bad for Rep. Howard Berman, who is gripped in a tough race against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman for a San Fernando Valley congressional seat.

The latest campaign finance reports showed Berman has outpaced Sherman in fundraising since the 2012 election cycle began. Berman added some $500,000 to his coffers during the latest reporting period, bringing the total raised to almost $3.5 million. Sherman has reported collecting more than $2.7 million altogether. But, because he had stockpiled funds raised earlier and lent himself $700,000, Sherman has much more money in the bank—more than $3 million, compared with Berman’s $447,000—as the competitors move into the final months before the Nov. 6 election.


The so-called ‘super-PAC” supporting Berman, the Committee to Elect and Effective Valley Congressman, reported it was down to $7,800 cash on hand and was nearly $48,000 in debt. The group, which is allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts from donors so long as it does not coordinate its efforts with the candidate’s campaign, spent nearly $600,000 to support Berman during the primary.

Also Sunday, the Berman campaign fell just short of getting the 60% of delegates needed to win an official endorsement from the California Democratic Party. The 58.5%, compared with Sherman’s 23.4%, certainly gives Berman bragging rights—Berman on Monday called the margin “a clear sign of our campaign’s momentum.” But it wasn’t enough to win him the money, campaign volunteers and other help an official endorsement could have brought.

Berman earlier had lined up backing from most of California’s top Democratic elected officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown and both the state’s U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

Sherman’s campaign, which had worked hard to deny Berman the state party endorsement, emphasized its 10-point margin over Berman in the June 5 primary and its considerable financial advantage.

“We feel very confident about our situation,” Sherman strategist Parke Skelton said in a statement issued Monday.



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--Jean Merl