Berman, Sherman To Face Off In ANCA-WR Debate

Representatives Howard Berman (left) and Brad Sherman

GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced on Wednesday that it will be hosting a debate between Congressman Howard Berman and Congressman Brad Sherman on September 29 at Ferrahian High School’s Avedissian Hall in Encino at 6 p.m. The two congressmen, engaged in the most closely watched congressional election in the country, will be facing off at the epicenter of the Armenian community in the San Fernando Valley.

In 2011, after an extensive evaluation process in which the ANCA-WR participated, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission released the new maps, revealing that the new district was composed of large swaths of each congressman’s old district. With the decision by both to run in the newly redrawn 30th District, the two longtime congressmen and their respective campaigns for reelection have become the focus of nationwide election coverage. In the blockbuster battle, the Armenian-American community can provide the swing vote that decides the election.

“There is no doubt about the large role that our community plays in the San Fernando Valley,” said ANCA-WR Co-Chair Chris Guldjian. “And, being a part of the greater Valley community, our organization wanted to provide a venue where issues important to all local constituents could be discussed.”

The candidates will be asked an array of questions ranging on topics from domestic issues affecting local Valley residents to foreign policy concerns.

ANCA – San Fernando Valley West Chairman Nareg Kitsinian commented, “Both congressmen have been great friends of our community and it’s going to be a difficult decision for everyone on Election Day. We’re hoping this debate will help in leading us in the right direction.”

The debate is open to the public but seating will only be available on a first-come, first-served basis and those interested are encouraged to arrive early to ensure they can reserve a seat.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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6 Comments

  1. Maryann said:

    This is a terrible idea. We are in an awful position having to pick one over the other and then to have them go at it in public? I cannot imagine anyone will learn anything new, both are tremendous friends, both have important committee assignments, both are decent humans. I hope the WR doesn’t endorse, because if we endorse one of them and the other one wins, we will have created ill will with a good friend. It is not worth it. It is a win win situation for us, why should we get involved?

    • Viken Karapetian said:

      This is politics. You can’t shy from taking a side. Its all about making tough decisions. The 1 part of your argument I agree with is we better pick the general election winner. Sherman will be endorsed and win (he has more natural constituents in the district).

      One final thought: these two hate each other and about 15 years ago, Berman wasn’t a friend.

  2. Jilian Pearce said:

    I for one is excited of the much anticipated debate between Congressman Howard Berman and Congressman Brad Sherman. The two aspirants will surely present their interest for the office. The question is which one can do more than better? Berman for me! He is one of the most creative members of the House and one of the most clear-sighted operators in American politics.

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  4. Hovannes said:

    I would like to thank the ANC for hosting this debate. Most Armenians think that this race is a win-win, but they could not be more wrong. Brad Sherman is with the Armenian community 24/7, whereas Howard Berman is with us when it’s convenient and with the Turkish/Azeri lobby when they give him money. The Armenian people of the Valley need to see that Brad Sherman has never turned his back on the Armenian community and Howard Berman frequently has. We need to make sure Howard Berman is no reelected so that he will no longer have the opportunity to assist the Turkish and Azeri governments with their anti-Armenia policies.

    • Maryann said:

      Where are you getting your information? When has Howard Berman been pro-turkish or azeri? I have been paying attention to these folks for the last ten years and not once has Berman said anything that is questionable to our cause. They are both good to us. Berman probably has more respect among his colleagues and he is more senior. If the Dems take back the House, he will be the Chairman of the Foreign Relations committee. Sherman still has a long way to go. This is a VERY TOUGH decision for us!!

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