Latino lawmakers are lining up behind Councilman Tony Cardenas in his race for the new “Latino” Congressional seat in the San Fernando Valley.

Cardenas announced the endorsements today of Sen. Alex Padilla and Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes. No big surprise there: Padilla used to work for Cardenas, and Fuentes used to work for Padilla.

But it is getting harder to see how anyone could stop Cardenas from getting to DC. The only person standing in his way…

… may be Howard Berman.

Berman, a 28-year Congressional veteran, is more likely to run in the adjacent Valley district, which he shares with Rep. Brad Sherman.

But Democratic strategists are trying to avert a costly bloodbath between Berman and Sherman, if at all possible. Berman's allies think Sherman should stand down, while some Sherman allies are nudging Berman to run in the “Latino” district.

That could get messy. Nobody is eager for a Cardenas-Berman showdown, so any deal to put Berman into the Latino seat would likely have to involve persuading Cardenas to wait his turn.

Cardenas, meanwhile, is going full steam ahead. In his release today, he touted the campaign as a “historic opportunity for Latinos to increase their representation in Congress.”

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