Redistricting in California has guaranteed that no matter who wins the Golden State’s 30th congressional district, credit unions will lose a supporter.
The June 5 primary between rhyming Democratic Representatives Brad Sherman and Howard Berman probably won’t decide who will be on the November ballot, because under California’s new “top-two primary” rules, the two highest vote-getters will advance to the general election, regardless of party.
In Southern California’s San Fernando Valley, a traditionally Democratic district, it’s likely the two will receive the most votes.
Sherman is arguably the stronger credit union supporter. He has long been a champion of supplemental capital, most recently introducing the Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act, H.R. 3993, in February.
Sherman has also been supportive of efforts to increase the member business lending cap, signing on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1418, the House version of MBL legislation, and has pledged to help preserve credit unions’ tax exempt status.
Berman, who has served in the House for nearly 30 years, has also shown moderate credit union support. He is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1418, and was a co-sponsor of CURIA in 2007. However, he has not pledged support for H.R. 3993.
Neither lawmaker is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3461, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act.
Sherman is considered the superior campaigner, but a relative outsider in Washington compared to Berman, who is the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It was Berman who reportedly met President Barack Obama at the Burbank airport in April and shared a ride to George Clooney’s house for a campaign fundraiser.
Washington publication Politico, which recently covered the race, compared the two by likening Berman to the Hollywood establishment Oscar, while designating Sherman as the People’s Choice Award.
Despite the high-profile connections, pundits note that Sherman has more support among the bread-and-butter voters in the Valley, and is likely to win the primary. Sherman’s campaign released a poll in early April that showed him holding a 52% to 25% lead over Berman. However, Berman may draw more independent and conservative voters in November.