Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), right, throws his arm around rival Howard… (Brandon Hall / Associated…)
WASHINGTON — Rival Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman have spent more than $9 million in their fight over a San Fernando Valley congressional seat, according to the campaigns' most recent filings with the federal government.
That means they are closing in on the $11.5 million spent by Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff of Glendale and former Republican congressman James E. Rogan a dozen years ago. That spending set a record for a California House race.
Heading into the crucial final weeks before next month's election, Sherman had more cash on hand than Berman — $1.8 million to about $394,000, according to the latest campaign reporting period, which ended Sept. 30. Each campaign contended that the other actually had less money than the reports reflected, because of their respective debts.
In addition to what the candidates spent, the race has drawn $2.5 million in outside spending, including $1 million spent by a pro-Berman "super PAC" for such things as putting Berman's name on a campaign mailer sent to Republican voters.
A pro-Sherman group has spent about $179,000 on the race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money.
Some other California races in which the two major political parties are battling have drawn a lot more outside spending.
Overall for this election, Sherman, of Sherman Oaks, has collected about $3 million so far, including $700,000 that he lent to his campaign. Berman, of Valley Village, raised a total of roughly $4.2 million.