After six years on the Hesperia City Council, Rita Vogler is looking down the Cajon Pass for a new position.

"I'm very happy being on the council, but I do think I can take what I've learned ... down to the district level," she said.

Vogler is one of two Hesperians running for the 1st District Supervisor's seat in the June 3 election. There's just one problem for her: The seat is currently occupied by the well-heeled Brad Mitzelfelt, who was appointed to the position after the previously elected supervisor, Bill Postmus, won the 2006 election for county assessor. Mitzelfelt had been Postmus' chief of staff.

"It was a continuation of the same regime," Vogler said. This election, the first in which Mitzelfelt can be challenged, "is the perfect opportunity to move forward."

"If people look at the city council as a whole, the city's accomplishments," she said, "It's virtually impossible for anyone to say we haven't listened to them in terms of roads, infrastructure, public safety and the open form of government that we've set up."

And she says the lessons she's learned in Hesperia are applicable across the 1st District.

"Every community has the same issue, and that's public safety," she said. "Cities are limited, we know that. This is not just a 1st District issue, it's a county issue."

To give law enforcement and other agencies the funds they need to effectively fight crime, Vogler said, is going to require cutting costs elsewhere.

"We're going to have to cut back on our resources," she said. "There's gong to have to be some serious investigation of the programs the county already has. I want to see a rate of return."

She also wants to change how other things work in the nation's largest county by geography.

"Campaign finance reform has to happen. Nobody wants to talk about it," Vogler said. "Put limitations on [campaign funding], a cap."

As of May 17, Mitzelfelt has spent $480,252.

Vogler said that she's established a $50,000 ceiling for her own campaign.

"We might be a tad over that, because we've just done one final mailer."

Even if Vogler doesn't win on June 3, it isn't necessarily over her: To win the 1st District supervisor's seat outright, a candidate has to collect 50 percent of all votes cast, plus one. Failure to do so will force a run-off in November between the top two vote-getters.

"I really do believe I'm going to do quite well," Vogler said. "I really do."

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