California Congressional District 30
Many observers expected the fight between Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman for a newly drawn San Fernando Valley congressional seat would become one of the costliest House races in the nation next year, and it already has generated plenty of attention with handicappers speculating on which of the two will prevail.
Not so fast, say the two Republicans in the race, novelist Susan Shelley and actor, rancher and businessman Mark Reed.
Shelley believes her moderate views on social issues — she’s pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage — will appeal to those who want an alternative to both incumbents. Reed, who ran against Sherman in 2010, describes himself as “an advocate for constitutional government as specified by our founding fathers.”
Politics-watchers deem it pretty unlikely that a Republican could win in this strongly Democratic district but acknowledge that some big changes — including the recent redrawing of districts and the state’s new “top two” primary system — will add unpredictable wrinkles in 2012.
The November runoff will be between the top two vote getters in the June primary, even if they are from the same party. Most expect that will be Berman and Sherman, but one of those seasoned congressmen will be locked out of the fall contest if a Republican manages to come in second in June.
A Republican will come in second unless a recent court challenge throws the new Congressional Districts out. The top two system will likely hurt the Democrats much more than the GOP in California.
How ironic since the GOP opposed the anti-party primary system which California voters adopted.