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Stars among donors for county elections

Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal

Celebrity sightings are rare in county government.

But a few turned up in the latest batch of campaign-finance reports filed by candidates seeking a seat on the Bernalillo County Commission.

LOPEZ: Contributed $2,500 to Quezada

LOPEZ: Contributed $2,500 to Quezada

CRANSTON: Donated $300 to Quezada

CRANSTON: Donated $300 to Quezada

Comedian George Lopez and “Breaking Bad” actors Bryan Cranston and Bob Odenkirk are among the donors to Steve Michael Quezada, himself a “Breaking Bad” regular and a Democratic candidate to represent the South Valley on the County Commission.

Quezada, who played DEA agent Steven Gomez in the show, has raised about $33,000 to succeed incumbent Art De La Cruz, who cannot run because of term limits. That includes $2,500 from Lopez, $500 from Odenkirk and $300 from Cranston.

QUEZADA: Has raised about $33,000

QUEZADA: Has raised about $33,000

But Quezada isn’t the money leader in the Democratic race.

ODENKIRK: $500 for Quezada effort

ODENKIRK: $500 for Quezada effort

Adrian Pedroza, executive director of Partnership for Community Action, an advocacy group, has raised nearly $51,000 – much of it from left-leaning Democrats in state and local government. His contributors include City Councilor Isaac Benton and County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley.

Pedroza also has accepted contributions from Attorney General Hector Balderas and some state lawmakers.

Quezada, who’s also a member of the Albuquerque school board, hasn’t been shut out among elected officials. He has had donations from former Attorney General Gary King and Councilor Klarissa Peña, for example.

The third candidate in the race is Robert G. Chavez, a retired police sergeant who raised about $16,000.

Election Day is June 7. Voter registration closes May 10 – only Democrats and Republicans can vote in the primary election – and early voting begins May 21.

The winner of the Democratic nomination in commission District 2 will face Patricia Paiz, a Republican, in the fall. Paiz has raised about $22,000 so far.

District 2 is heavily Democratic. It includes Barelas, the West Side neighborhoods south of Central Avenue and the South Valley.

Here’s a look at fundraising in other county races:

  • Christopher J. Sanchez is well ahead of the pack in the Democratic race for county treasurer, with about $10,000 in contributions.

Sanchez, accounting manager in the Treasurer’s Office, faces his boss, incumbent Manny Ortiz, and former boss, Patrick Padilla, in the race – neither of whom reported any fundraising through April 4.

Ortiz is in his first term as treasurer. Padilla served as treasurer from 1989-92 and 2005-12.

They’ve each faced intense criticism over their handling of county investments, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed some of their records as part of an investigation.

The fourth candidate seeking the Democratic nomination is Nancy Bearce, a neighborhood leader with a background in health care management. She reported raising about $160.

On the Republican side, Kim Hillard raised $50, and Christopher Mario Romero reported no financial contributions.

  • Deputy County Clerk Roman Montoya has raised about $31,000 in his bid for the Democratic nomination to succeed County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who, in turn, is running for secretary of state.

His rival for the nomination, Linda Stover, reported about $21,000 in monetary contributions.

Republican Maryellen Ortega-Saenz didn’t report any contributions yet.