Michael Dukakis to help Rep. Brad Sherman retire campaign debt

Former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, are helping with a "debt retirement" fundraiser for Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), who last fall won one of the most contentious -- and most expensive -- House races in the nation.

Dukakis, a onetime Massachusetts governor who also helped Sherman raise money during the campaign, and his wife will be guests at a reception Thursday at a home in Studio City.

Sherman defeated longtime Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) in November, after the two were placed in the same district during the 2011 redrawing of California's political districts by an independent citizens commission.

Last year, a voter-approved change in the state elections system for the first time sent the top-two primary finishers, regardless of political affiliation, to the fall general election. That set up set several contests between members of the same party, including the Berman-Sherman clash in the San Fernando Valley.

Spending in that contest neared $12 million, making it the fifth-costliest House race in the nation.

Of that amount, Sherman spent almost $6.2 million and had $829,768 in debts by the end of last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, which tracks campaign spending. The debts included $500,000 that Sherman provided his campaign.


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