Candidate field down to seven
March 08, 2012 3:10 PM
Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writer

VICTORVILLE • Deputy Public Defender Mark Shoup announced Thursday he’s pulling out of the race for San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor.

Shoup’s decision followed news from the county’s Safety Employees’ Benefit Association that nearly 74,000 signatures were filed Wednesday in support of qualifying a ballot measure that would reduce the county Board of Supervisors to part time. The proposed charter amendment, which requires 43,500 signatures to make the ballot, would reduce compensation for the county’s five elected supervisors from an average of $271,000 to $60,000 annually, and slash their budgets from a total of $6 million to $250,000 per office.

Shoup said it would be “improper” to serve on the Board of Supervisors while holding a full-time county position.

“If I were to be elected to the board, while simultaneously the ballot measure were to receive a majority of the vote, I would have placed myself in the untenable position of holding incompatible offices,” Shoup said by email. “I do not believe it is ethical for me to ask the people of the 1st District for their votes while the possibility exists that I would not be able to serve if elected.”

Shoup said he is not taking a position on the ballot measure nor endorsing another candidate for supervisor at this time.

Seven candidates remain in the race as of Thursday:

• Russ Blewett, Hesperia mayor;

• Bret Henry, San Bernardino County Fire captain;

• Robert Lovingood, president of ICR Staffing Services;

• Michael Orme, field representative for U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon;

• Rick Roelle, Apple Valley councilman;

• Bob Smith, community liaison for Mitzelfelt; and

• Jermaine Wright, trustee with the Adelanto School District.

Because current 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt is not seeking re-election and instead running for Congress, the candidate filing deadline for the supervisor race has been extended to March 14.

The top two vote-getters at the June 5 primary will square off in November.

Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at

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