California Debate Sparks Scuffle Between Political Rivals

U.S. Representatives Brad Sherman and Howard Berman had to be separated by a sheriff’s deputy after one Democrat called the other “delusional” during a debate in front of cheering college students.

Sherman, 57, wrapped his arm around the shoulders of 71- year-old Berman and shouted, “Do you want to get into this?” a video from yesterday’s debate at Pierce College in Woodland Hills showed. A debate moderator and the deputy stepped between the two.

The candidates, with more than 45 years in Congress between them, are pitted against each other for a single seat in the San Fernando Valley because of new district boundaries and California’s system of advancing the top two primary candidates, regardless of party. Even before the physical confrontation, Politico rated the battle one of the 10 nastiest House races in the country.

Berman called Sherman “delusional” after Sherman downplayed Berman’s role in sponsoring the Dream Act, which was intended to provide a path for citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Nash in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.