Hesperia City Councilwoman Rita Vogler has announced her intention to run for 1st District Supervisor, and claim the seat currently occupied by Brad Mitzelfelt.

Vogler, who was reelected to a second four-year term in November 2006, picked up the paperwork necessary to run in the June election against. She will be running against incumbent Mitzelfelt, a first-term supervisor who is completing the remainder of the term begun by Bill Postmus, who was elected County Assessor in November 2006.

"It's always been in the back of my mind, ever since Bill ran for assessor and vacated his seat," Vogler said Thursday. "The first district has the perfect opportunity to break away from Postmus."

Mitzelfelt served as Postmus' chief of staff when the latter was 1st District Supervisor.

"I really want to see the county and 1st District be proactive when it comes to public safety," Vogler said, including illegal immigration and homelessness under the public safety umbrella. "I would not be in favor of adding more programs; I would like to go back and look at the programs in existence."

San Bernardino County's 1st District includes the communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Hesperia, Lake Havasu, Needles, Trona, Twentynine Palms and Victorville. While Vogler is a known quantity in Hesperia and to many in the Victor Valley, getting known in and getting to know many of the more far-flung communities in the 1st District will be more of a challenge.

"I know that their issues have to be public safety, too," she said. "The one thing we all have in common is traffic."

Vogler would also try to put a price tag on how much illegal immigration costs the county, starting with a census of how many illegal immigrants are in the county's jails.

"If the federal government isn't following up with their work and the state isn't following up with their work, the county of San Bernardino has to do it."

Vogler says she is not intimidated by taking on the well-funded Mitzelfelt and his well-established support system.

"We took on the machine two years ago and won," she said. "Think about the amount of money spent [by her opponents] in 2006. ... They not only loaded the ballot with people, but also [had] very deep pockets."

In 2006, Vogler spent $25,456 on her campaign, and was the top vote-getter in the election, in an eight-candidate race. Councilman Ed Pack, who ran for reelection the same year, spent a record $151,616 for a third place finish, while former councilman Jim Lindley spent $148,486 and came in 70 votes shy of retaining his council seat with a fourth place finish. Pack and Lindley at one time were seen as being closely aligned politically with Postmus' camp.

If she wins, Vogler plans on introducing "some type of [campaign] finance reform," with contribution limits comparable to the $2,300 maximum an individual can give to a candidate in the national election this year.

"I don't even understand the concept of why someone would need $1 million to run for the 1st District," Vogler said. According to the most recent campaign financial disclosure forms, Mitzelfelt has raised more than $850,000 in campaign funds since becoming supervisor and has $709,000 in his war chest.

"I have a good record here," Vogler said. "I know what I'm up against."

Voters in the 1st District will select their supervisor on June 3.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.