Calif. House race with veteran Dems turns physical

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 1:47 am •  Published: October 12, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — An increasingly bitter California congressional race between two House Democrats turned physical Thursday when one aggressively seized the shoulder of his opponent during a debate, yanked him toward his chest and shouted, "You want to get into this?"

The confrontation between Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman came amid a nasty campaign for a Los Angeles-area seat that has become one of the most expensive House contests in the nation.

The lunge by the 57-year-old Sherman appeared to startle Berman, who is 71 and smaller in stature, while the audience hooted and shouted.

Moments earlier, during a dispute on an immigration-related bill, Berman, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, stepped close to Sherman on the stage, who told his colleague loudly, "Get out of my face."

The two men later stood nose-to-nose exchanging words before a sheriff's deputy emerged behind them and briefly placed his hand on Sherman's shoulder. Sherman sat down and took a drink from what appeared to be a water bottle before the two men continued the debate.

Berman's campaign released a video of the confrontation at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley.

The veteran lawmakers were pulled into the same district after a voter-approved independent panel redrew California's political boundaries. They were the top vote-getters in the June primary and went on to the general election because of California's new primary system, which sends the top two finishers to the runoff regardless of party affiliation.



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