Steven Michael Quezada, who played DEA agent Steven Gomez on Breaking Bad, will announce that he will be running for Bernalillo County commissioner in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tuesday. The actor and comedian, who is a member of the Albuquerque school board, is joining a race alongside at least three other contenders, according to The Associated Press.
The actor told The AP he hoped to make positive changes in the district, which includes the Hispanic South Valley. Recently, the area made headlines when the Bernalillo County Commission approved a planned community in spite of critics who said the development could take water away from other communities in the area.
Already an outspoken member of the community, Quezada recently spoke at a gathering in Albuquerque to discuss how the community fights crime, the Office of the Attorney General's Third Annual Summit on Community Violence. The event was held to address pressure to reform the state's judicial system, according to NBC New York.
The actor additionally heads up "The Actor's Core" – part of the organization Youth Development Incorporated – which teaches young people skills for working within the entertainment industry as well as acting. Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston and Gwyn Savage, a filmmaker who worked on Breaking Bad, have participated as mentors in the program.
Quezada also hosts a late-night TV show in the city called The After After Party. Recent guests on the show have included Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston – who shaved his head on the program – and the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, who also heads up the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul.
In a 2013 interview, the actor told Rolling Stone how, as a comedian, he adapted to playing a serious role on Breaking Bad. "It was tough, because I wanted to be funny, and they wrangled that right away when I auditioned," Quezada said. "I got to talk with Vince, and he said, 'This is gonna be a challenge for you, but we believe that you can do it. When you walked in the room I saw Gomez.' But I did theater first and then I went into comedy. You gotta understand, there weren't a whole lot of roles for Hispanics in the Eighties, so comedy was really the way I could really feed myself and eventually feed my family. I was an actor who learned to be a comic, and it's cool to come back and get back into acting move forward in the direction I started out to do in the beginning."