Bill Clinton, state and local officials endorse Sherman in contested West Valley district

The competition between two Jewish Democratic incumbents for the newly redrawn 30th Congressional district in the West San Fernando Valley is heating up.

On August 5, Rep. Brad Sherman (D – Sherman Oaks) released a list of more than 100 political and community leaders endorsing his bid for reelection in the 30th Congressional district in 2012. The list included former President Bill Clinton, members of Los Angeles City Council, California State Senate and Assembly, as well as other local elected and community officials.

The move comes just one week after California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission released its final draft of Congressional lines, on July 29, and appears to be an effort by Sherman to head off a direct race against another long-time Jewish Democratic incumbent, Rep. Howard Berman (D – Van Nuys), who has also laid claim to the 30th district.

The developing race between Berman and Sherman—both of whom live in the newly drawn district—was the subject of a recent cover story in the Jewish Journal.

In that article, numerous Jewish leaders were quoted saying that they hoped a Berman v. Sherman race could be avoided. A few—including Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, a long-time friend of Berman’s—said they felt Berman’s continued presence in Congress would be seen as essential by Israel supporters. Berman is the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Sherman’s list of early endorsements, which was sent out by the Sherman campaign office to thousands of supporters, appears designed to demonstrate the seriousness with which he is pursuing reelection in the 30th district.

The list is posted at the Congressman’s campaign website,