Scoop: ‘Breaking Bad’ actor running for office in Albuquerque

Citing the growth of urban sprawl and a need for more Mexican-American elected officials, “Breaking Bad” actor Steven Michael Quezada said he is jumping into a heated race for county commissioner in Albuquerque, N.M.
Quezada, who played DEA agent Steven Gomez in the hit AMC series, told The Associated Press on Monday that he will make a formal announcement today that he’s seeking a commission seat in Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county.

The actor-comedian said he’s joining the race to make a difference in the district, which includes the historically Latino area of South Valley and parts of Albuquerque’s west side where developers are seeking to build homes. At least three others are running for the open seat in 2016.

“I think I bring a new face to the Democratic Party,” said Quezada, 52, a Democrat who is a member of the Albuquerque school board. “We need to reach out to our young people — the young Chicanos, the young Latinos — and get them involved in this process and let them know this is important.”

“Breaking Bad,” which is set in Albuquerque, follows former high school teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, producing methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul.

KEILLOR READY TO RETIRE

Garrison Keillor, creator and longtime host of the popular “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show, says he means it this time: He’s retiring.

In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Keillor said he plans to step down after next season, following four decades of folksy comedy sketches about Lake Wobegon, his mythical Minnesota hometown “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

The show is heard by 4 million listeners nationwide each week. Keillor also takes summer bus tours for live shows, and his 30-city “America the Beautiful” cross-country tour, billed as his farewell tour, starts next week.

“I have a lot of other things that I want to do. I mean, nobody retires anymore. Writers never retire. But this is my last season,” Keillor said.
Keillor, 72, has tapped musician Chris Thile to succeed him full time as host in September 2016, following guest-hosting spots.

QUICK TAKES

Daniel Radcliffe rapped “The Real Slim Shady” during karaoke night at Cameron’s Pub in Half Moon Bay over the weekend. … Carol Burnett, 82, will receive the Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Retired soccer player and Bay Area native Brandi Chastain is 47. … Former Attorney General Janet Reno is 77. … Singer Kay Starr is 93. — Staff, wire report

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

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