Rita Vogler, the Hesperia City Councilwoman who is running for supervisor of the county's First District, last week received a big endorsement from the San Bernardino County Sun. "Her election would represent not only a victory for grassroots leadership but an end to a troubling sense of entitlement that follows incumbent Brad Mitzelfelt," the non-bylined piece stated.


Sounding a bit like public relations copy, the editorial in the Sun's Sunday, May 4 issue also stated, "Her campaign has championed public safety, transportation and roads, and immigration issues - all high on the minds of the district's 350,000 residents."


Moreover, "the nagging itch that won't go away," according to the editorial, is that as Bill Postmus' former chief of staff, Mitzelfelt is inexorably connected to the Postmus political "machine." Adding to that premise, Mitzelfelt was appointed to his position by Postmus when he was elected county assessor in early 2007. While Vogler has "earned" your vote over the years, Mitzelfelt has not, according to the Sun.


Certainly Mitzelfelt is benefiting from many of the same political connections - contributors who have put big money into his campaign war chest - as Postmus. But the two couldn't be more different in terms of style. While Postmus exuded an easy going charm, Mitzelfelt's strength is his attention to the finer details of public policy. Postmus appears comfortable shaking hands and schmoozing at events. Mitzelfelt, on the other hand, seems more at home honing policy or writing effective, information-laden news releases.


The inference of the Sun piece is that Mitzelfelt hasn't worked to improve public safety, transportation and roads and immigration issues. Perhaps the anonymous editorial writer should read more news articles to discover that's just not the case. Mitzelfelt has lent his support to many of the issues that Vogler also embraces.


While Vogler is certainly well-liked by a large segment of Hesperia - she was easily elected, first in 2002 and and then in 2006 - it's Vogler's husband Al Vogler who appears to be the engine behind the Rita Vogler movement. Al Vogler also was successful in helping elect Mike Leonard, who is now Hesperia's mayor, and Thurston "Smitty" Smith, the mayor pro tem. Another key piece of the Vogler power puzzle is Paul Bosacki, a Hesperia postal worker who was appointed to the planning commission. Bosacki is likely to run for City County next fall.


The Rita Vogler candidacy may appear to be a grassroots movement, but it's getting more horsepower under the hood and picking up speed every day. Does that make the structure behind her campaign bid a political machine? In Hesperia it does. Just ask former councilmembers Dennis Nowicki and Jim Lindley, who lost their seats to Vogler candidates.


Choosing between Vogler and Mitzfelt is more like picking either John McCain or Mitt Romney. Both supervisorial candidates share many of the same political views and hopes for our county. As a longtime Hesperian, Vogler knows our needs and can fight for them in San Bernardino. But Mitzelfelt, a resident of Wrightwood, hasn't ignored the needs of Hesperia, either.


This one is a lot like Rocky versus Apollo Creed or David versus Goliath. Vogler may be the one carrying the slingshot into the June 3 election, but you can be sure that she and the ever-growing movement behind her will stand even taller if she wins. After all, both Vogler and Mitzelfelt - like all politicians - carry the same currency - power. It's just a matter of who can use theirs most effectively.