Tony Cardenas Is Headed To Congress: Howard Berman Endorsement Clears Last Roadblock

Looks like Councilman Tony Cardenas can start looking for apartments in Washington, D.C.

Today, he got the endorsement of Rep. Howard Berman in his race for the new "Latino" Congressional seat in the San Fernando Valley. That appears to eliminate the most serious threat to Cardenas' campaign: the chance that Berman would move into the district and bigfoot him out of the race.

Berman, of course, has been drawn into the adjacent San Fernando Valley district with Rep. Brad Sherman. The Berman and Sherman camps are now playing chicken -- each side is trying to convince the other to move into a different district to avoid a costly showdown.

To extend the metaphor, Berman's endorsement today of Cardenas is the equivalent of tying his own hands so he can't swerve out of the way.

Your move, Brad Sherman.

Berman's allies, including Henry Waxman, would like to see Sherman move into an open Ventura County district. But that district is much tougher for a Democrat to win, and Sherman has already ruled it out.

If you had to bet at this point, it looks like Berman and Sherman are indeed headed for a very expensive clash. And if Sherman's poll is to be believed, Sherman has the edge.

Cardenas, on the other hand, looks like he's going to coast to victory. He's been lining up all the endorsements, and there's been no talk of anybody substantial stepping up to challenge him. Berman looked like the only potential obstacle, and now that's out of the way.

"California's redistricting process creates a historic opportunity for valley Latinos to have a strong and unified voice in Congress for the first time," Cardenas said in a statement. "The opportunity to be the valley's first Latino Congressional representative is humbling and I'm proud that so many diverse leaders have come together to support this campaign."

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