ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston is giving a castmate from hit TV series “Breaking Bad” some help in his campaign for local office in New Mexico’s most populous county.
Cranston, who starred as teacher turned meth manufacturer Walter White in the popular AMC show, and comedian George Lopez are asking residents to vote for Steven Michael Quezada in the Bernalillo County commissioner’s race.
“Steven was great in ‘Breaking Bad,’ but he thrives as a community leader,” Cranston said in a voter mailer, which features the actor’s photo. “He will fight for more education funding, fight to keep this community safe, and fight to bring much needed jobs to the community.”
Quezada played Drug Enforcement Administration agent Steven Gomez in the show, which was filmed in New Mexico and ended in 2013 amid a large following. Lopez, whom the candidate calls a friend, also lent his star power to the campaign in literature and automated calls.
Quezada, 53, now a school board member for Albuquerque Public Schools, said he joined the three-person Democratic race for a seat on the county commission because he feels he can make a difference in the district with a large Mexican-American and Native American population.
Robert Chavez, one of Quezada’s opponents in the June 7 primary, said Quezada “is doing what he has to do” to gain voters’ attention. Chavez said he has his own automated campaign call with Pete Pino, a high school basketball coach well-known in the area.
“George Lopez has nothing over Coach Pino,” Chavez said.
Adrian Pedroza, another candidate in the race, did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press. Patricia Paiz, a Republican, is running unopposed.
Local Democrats have sought Quezada’s support after a sweep by Republicans in the statewide election two years ago. He has lent his voice for commercials but says the state party needs to do more to reach out to Latino voters, especially because New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanic residents in the country.
Quezada has been arrested for drunken driving and has been open about it. Records show he pleaded guilty to drunken driving in 1998, and two other charges from 2002 were later dismissed.