Kicking off what many expect to be a long, hard-fought and expensive campaign in the 30th congressional district, the Woodland Hills - Tarzana Chamber of Commerce is convening a candidates’ town hall meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5.
The two well-known and well-funded Democratic incumbents, Reps. Brad Sherman (D- Sherman Oaks) and Howard Berman (D - Van Nuys), will be there, as will the two Republican challengers, businessman Mark Reed and author Susan Shelley.
Ordinarily, one might not see candidates from opposing parties sharing a stage this early in the election process, but in accordance with a new voter-approved California election law, 2012 will mark the first time that all candidates will compete in a single primary in June. Assuming no candidate wins an outright majority in the first round of voting—which some have called a “jungle primary”—the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will face off in a run-off in November.
Sean McCarthy, the chamber’s chairman of government affairs, will serve as the moderator of the event, which will follow a town hall format. Candidates will be invited to make opening statements, and will then field questions “from chamber members and from audience members,” according to a description on the chamber’s website. Questions are expected to cover the economy, the ability or inability of Congress to function, and foreign policy.
“Each candidate will be given equal opportunity to answer all questions,” the statement on the website added.
The free event begins at 6:30 pm and is being hosted by Westfield at the Promenade Mall, Warner Center, in the former Dicks’ Sporting Goods Store on the basement level.