Diane Neal, who played Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from seasons 5 to 9, has launched an independent run for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat.
Neal, 42, announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday, February 6. “MORNING! Ok, so it’s ON!!!” she wrote. “But I’m doing with nearly no staff, no donations (yet), with no party. Website will be up later today (fingers crossed) and all ready to go. But goal is bigger than parties. Goal is no negativity. Goal is HIGH ROAD all the way.”
The Daily Freeman reported that the NCIS alum needs 3,500 signatures on petitions to secure a spot on the ballot in November. She is a registered Democrat who lives upstate in Hurley, New York, and expects to earn a degree from Harvard University in May. She has been active with organizations including the Urban Arts Partnership, Young Leaders of the RFK Center for Human Rights, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Joyful Heart Foundation, the latter of which was founded by SVU star Mariska Hargitay.
Neal told the newspaper that her political views include “a lot of everything,” adding, “I’m a little Libertarian, I’m a lot liberal, mostly progressive, but I have this amazing ability to be able to take really complicated policy and break it down into edible sound bites, which is something most progressive liberals cannot do.”
She added, “I love this country. The majority of my family, most are active service at the moment. Even my grandmother, who escaped the Holocaust. She came to New York, she joined the Navy. She was a badass. She was awesome.”
The actress met President Donald Trump about 15 years ago when she appeared as a judge on The Apprentice.