Democrats win in BernCo treasurer, commission races


Quezada Wins Bernalillo District 2 County Commissioner Race

Democrat Steven Michael Quezada won the Bernalillo County Commission District 2 seat with 61.7 percent of the vote late Tuesday night.

Quezada is an Albuquerque Public Schools board member and also APS’s Board of Education secretary. He is also known for his acting role as “Steven ‘Gomey’ Gomez” from the series “Breaking Bad.”

“I have a vision for equity, and I am committed to working with local neighborhoods in the South Valley, Barelas, and Westside to build a comprehensive economic development plan that puts our existing neighborhoods first,” Quezada said while campaigning.

Former District 2 County Commissioner Art De La Cruz’s term ends this year. A large proposed development in southwest Albuquerque was one of the largests issues in the lead-up to this race, and was an issue about which De La Cruz was vocal.

Quezada said his vision includes focusing on the unfinished projects which already exist, such as the Paseo del Volcan extension, connecting I-40 and U.S. 550. This project was also supposed to create more job opportunities for the community. He is expected to focus on this instead of starting new infrastructure projects.

Patricia Paiz, the Republican candidate for District 2, was born and raised in the South Valley and had spent more than 20 years serving as a police officer with the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Paiz’s focus was on job creation and infrastructure. She had not announced her support or disapproval of Santolina. She was not available for comment Nov. 8.

District 2 is the area west of I-25, and east of I-40, along the Rio Grande, and encompassing all of the South Valley.

Bearce bests Hillard in treasurer race

Democrat Nancy Bearce won the Bernalillo county treasurer’s race with 57 percent of the vote as of late Tuesday night.

Supporters said they see Bearce as someone who can point the office in a better direction. Past treasurer, Patrick Padilla, and current treasurer, Manny Ortiz, have both been accused of losing millions of dollars in bad investments.

“I’ve been following this scandal since it began,” said resident Thomas Salazar. “It’s important to know the party is heading in the right direction with Nancy, and what she stands for to avoid any further issues with our money in her hands.”

Salazar was at the Hotel Andaluz with his daughter, Savannah, to show support for the Democratic party.

Bearce, who didn’t respond to calls from the News Port for comment, defeated Republican Kim Hillard.

Bearce will make an annual salary around $80,000, which is what Manny Ortiz made while in office.

Hillard said he was proud of the job he did.

“I am very pleased to see that I received 44 percent of the vote, given the number of Democrats in the county, I think I did good,” Hillard said.

UNM political science professor Timothy Krebs recently told the News Port that a lot of people feel that the office is filled with “political insiders” and people have lost trust in the office.

This will be Bearce’s first time holding public office.

Bearce, a New Mexican from Alamogordo, said she feels transparency is a strong way to deal with all future actions of the treasurer.

Bearce said she plans on conducting forensic audits of the office, identifying inconsistencies, and working with the county commissioners on investments

She plans to abide by all Open Meetings Act guidelines, she has said. All public records can be accessed with an Inspection of the Public Records request. Bearce says she encourages the public get to involved and give input.

“When a problem is discovered, that is not the time to go silent,” Bearce said in a recent interview.

“Instead it’s the time to yell for help, rally your resources and seek out new partners to help address and remedy the issue and continue to communicate the need for stakeholder input,” she said.