ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The race to fill a key swing-vote on the Bernalillo County Commission is incredibly close.
All three Democrats seeking the nomination for the South Valley-based seat are within a few percentage points of each other.
At one point tonight, Steven Michael Quezada was at 35 percent, Adrián Pedroza had 33 percent and Robert G. Chavez had 32 percent, according to partial election returns. That was with more than half of the votes counted.
The race has been dominated by debate over the massive Santolina development plan on the West Side.
A political action committee backed by the Santolina development team campaigned against Pedroza, and in favor of Chavez and Quezada.
Pedroza, who works at a nonprofit group, opposes Santolina and describes it as sprawl development.
Quezada, an actor and member of the Board of Education, voted against Santolina as a member of the school board, but has left open the possibility of supporting it in the future as a way to ensure well-planned growth.
Chavez, a retired police sergeant and business owner, said he would consider the proposal the way a judge would, based only on the evidence before him.
Incumbent Art De La Cruz, a Democrat, cannot run this year because of term limits.
The winner will face Republican Patricia Paiz this fall, though the district is heavily Democratic.
In other county races:
— Raúl Torrez, a former prosecutor, won the Democratic nomination for district attorney over Edmund Perea, a lawyer and former police officer.
Torrez had an enormous financial advantage. He raised about $354,000 in contributions on his own, and he also had the backing of a political action committee funded by a $107,000 donation from George Soros, the Democratic billionaire.
Perea reported about $92,000 in contributions.
— Incumbent Treasurer Manny Ortiz is in serious danger of losing his re-election bid.
Nancy Bearce, a neighborhood leader who used to work for the state, led the four-person race with about 40 percent of the vote, according to partial election returns.
She was followed by fellow Democrats Christopher Sanchez at 24 percent, former Treasurer Patrick Padilla at 19 percent and Ortiz at 18 percent.
On the Republican side, Kim Hillard led Christopher Mario Romero.
— For county clerk, Linda Stover, former director of the New Mexico Rural Rehabilitation Corp., had a lead over fellow Democrat Roman Montoya, the deputy county clerk.