Since her election to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2010, Janice Rutherford has been a consistent fiscal conservative.

Her eye has always been on ensuring county government both focuses on the basics but can pay for it all as well.

We strongly encourage voters in the 2nd Supervisorial District to re-elect Rutherford.

Until just a few months ago, it didn’t seem like Rutherford would face much competition in her bid for re-election. And then Marc Steinorth jumped in.

His tough-on-crime campaign won him the support of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association and other law-enforcement unions. Yet for all the endorsements and his positive attributes — including his commitment to being as accessible as possible,  giving out his cell phone number publicly — Steinorth is ultimately not equipped for the job.

While our editorial board appreciates his honesty, it was apparent in our meeting with Steinorth that his understanding of the issues facing county government was quite thin. He was unable to speak at any significant length or depth about what he saw as the biggest budget issues facing the county or even public safety in the county, beyond broad condemnations of laws like realignment.

Light on details, Steinorth’s allies, including the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, have relied on negative mailers against Rutherford, like calling her a “right-wing politician supported by the Republican Party.” An odd choice in a Republican-versus-Republican race. But odder yet is a mailer from Steinorth’s camp that claims Rutherford is someone “who never met a tax she didn’t like.”

The fact is, Rutherford is a tax-fighter. Her commitment to fiscal responsibility and sticking up for taxpayers, as evidenced by her endorsement from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, sets her apart from most politicians in the region. And it’s apparent when the best they can do is criticize Rutherford for that Upland parcel tax. She didn’t vote for when it went before the Local Agency Formation Commission board, where she serves as an alternate member.

The Board of Supervisors did approve a resolution to let the annexation go forward — at the city’s request. But, as noted in a recent report, “This occurred before the affluent foothill community of San Antonio Heights was included in the annexation.”Rutherford has also made ethics and reform priorities during her term. That also, until recently, set her apart from many of her counterparts in the upper echelons of San Bernardino County government and it’s hard to see the case for unseating a practical, principled supervisor for the sake of a challenger who seems to be running for this seat in part because he might’ve lost had he tried get re-elected to the Assembly.

The county was once synonymous with corruption but that unseemly reputation has receded into the past. Residents have regained faith in their county government. San Bernardino is on the right track and Rutherford, among others, deserves much of the credit.

Voters in the 2nd District — Rancho Cucamonga, most of Upland and Fontana, and unincorporated areas in the foothills and mountains — should re-elect Janice Rutherford on June 5.