ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “Breaking Bad” actor Steven Michael Quezada is moving on to the general election for a commissioners’ seat in New Mexico’s most populous county after getting some Hollywood help from comedian George Lopez and Emmy Award-winning actor and fellow “Breaking Bad” co-star Bryan Cranston.
According to unofficial results, Quezada edged out two other candidates Tuesday in a close Democratic primary race for a spot on the Bernalillo County Commission. Quezada, 53, captured 36 percent of the vote, resulted showed.
The commissioners’ seat is in a district that includes Albuquerque’s historic Hispanic South Valley and an area in Albuquerque’s west side where developers are seeking to build homes.
Quezada now faces Republican Patricia Paiz in the general election.
“The bells have already rung,” Quezada said. “Ding. Ding. Round two.”
Quezada played Drug Enforcement Administration agent Steven Gomez in the AMC-TV series “Breaking Bad.” The show was filmed in New Mexico and ended in 2013 amid a large following.
In the final days of the race, voters got recorded calls from Lopez on behalf of Quezada and Cranston praised his former co-star in mailers sent to residents.
But Paiz said she didn’t think the help from Quezada’s Hollywood friends made too much of a difference. “He barely won. It was a close race,” said Paiz, a retired Albuquerque police officer.
Paiz said she believe the election will come down to local issues, like reducing crime and bringing jobs to one of the poorest regions in the state.
Quezada said he also wanted to see the area attract jobs and develop new programs for youth. He said he didn’t know if Lopez or Cranston will lend their help again in the general election.
“I got a really nice email from Bryan Cranston, congratulating me,” Quezada said. “He then told me, ‘Time to get to work’.”
Quezada, currently an Albuquerque school board member, is getting active in New Mexico Democratic Party politics just as the party is licking its wounds from a historic defeat in 2014 with the re-election of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and the GOP takeover of the New Mexico House.
Other Democrats have sought Quezada’s support, and he has lent his voice for commercials.