Lawsuit tries to keep Quezada off commission, overturn results

Quezada campaign says lawsuit is "grasping at straws"

FILE - This Jan. 27, 2013 file photo shows actor Steven Michael Quezada at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Tony Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston is giving fellow actor Quezada, from "Breaking Bad" some help in his race for a New Mexico county commissioner's seat. Cranston is joining comedian George Lopez in asking some residents of the state's largest county to vote for Quezada in a county commissioner's race. They are promoting Quezada on mailers targeting voters. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than a month after the election, a new lawsuit claims a county commission candidate who lost in a landslide should be put in office because of how her opponent filled out a form.

Patricia Paiz, the Republican candidate for Bernalillo County commissioner, filed the lawsuit this week seeking to overturn the election results. The lawsuit claims Democratic opponent Steven Michael Quezada, who won by more than 8,000 votes, had his wife sign a declaration of candidacy form in March. It even makes the claim that Quezada was out of the state at the time and wasn’t present, but doesn’t provide evidence for that assertion.

The lawsuit cites a handwriting expert who claims the handwriting on that form matches Quezada’s wife and not Quezada himself.

“Yes, it does appear this is just a technicality but rules and laws matter and we need to follow them,” said A. Blair Dunn, Paiz’s attorney.

The complaint seeks to have all of the votes for Quezada thrown out and Paiz declared the winner.

In a statement, the Quezada campaign called the lawsuit “desperate” and “grasping for straws.”

The campaign provided KRQE News 13 photos from the day in question, showing Quezada holding the declaration of candidacy form and filing it, contradicting the claims that he wasn’t there.

Campaign manager Scott Forrester says he and Quezada’s wife helped Quezada with the forms but that Quezada himself signed them.

KRQE News 13 obtained a similar complaint filed against Quezada with the Secretary of State’s office. That office declined to take any action on the matter a day before Election Day.

Quezada is set to be sworn in January 1st.

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