Forced into a new district with a fellow Democrat thanks to redistricting, California Rep. Howard Berman on Wednesday announced some big-name Democratic supporters as he looks to take the early upper hand.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Henry Waxman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will all serve as honorary campaign co-chairmen for Berman's campaign against Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman.
"I am honored to have received the early support of the Democratic leaders of our state of California," Berman said in a statement. "They are familiar with my work and accomplishments, and understand that in Congress I am not just another voice or another vote, but that I have a unique leadership role that enables me to serve the interests of the United States, California, and the San Fernando Valley."
Both Los Angeles-area Congressmen were drawn into the new 30th district in the San Fernando Valley, which includes portions of each of their current districts, along with a part of Waxman's current territory. Neither is backing down from what's expected to be a highly competitive race.
The Berman announcement comes one week after Sherman released a poll showing him with a strong lead in both a "jungle" primary and in a hypothetical November 2012 general race against Berman. For the first time, California will hold open primaries in which the top two finishing candidates, regardless of party, advance to the general.