Skip to main content

‘Law and Order’ star Diane Neal plans independent run to oust Faso

Empty
Former “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” star Diane Neal will seek the opportunity to run against U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, in November.
February 12, 2018 11:35 pm

HURLEY — A lawyer of a different stripe is challenging for the 19th Congressional District seat in November.

Actress Diane Neal, who played Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak in the popular television series “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” plans to run against U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, this year.

Neal is running without a party affiliation to change the environment in politics by providing an option outside the two-party system.

Neal filed her candidacy as an independent, much to the dismay of the Democratic Party, which sees the 19th District as high-priority.

“The environment in Washington is toxic. We need to change [it] to change Washington,” Neal said. “Most people stand in the middle, some a little more to the right and others more to the left. We can’t move forward with this back-and-forth.”

Neal is a political outsider who talks about the American Dream and progression, saying she espouses the values of characters she played on TV.

The state saw a 57.3 percent eligible voter turnout rate for the 2016 elections, ranking 38th in turnout among all other states. New York tied with Nevada and South Carolina, according to data collected by the U.S. Election Project.

“We want opportunities,” Neal said. “We have different ideas of how to get those opportunities, but if we stop yelling at each other, we can possibly get there.”

If Democrats have difficulty winning seats in the House of Representatives because of her race for the 19th District, then the party has bigger problems than her, Neal said.

The 19th District is already a pivotal, high-profile target in this year’s elections, especially because of its schizophrenic political leaning. Both the Democratic and Republican congressional campaign committees acknowledge the 19th District is a toss-up.

The stakes are also high for both parties with Republicans recognizing Democrats need only two districts in the state to take back the majority in the House while Democrats are desperate to grab power in a federal government controlled by Republicans.

Other Democratic candidates include Brian Flynn, of Hunter; Patrick Ryan, of Gardiner; Jeff Beals, of Woodstock; David Clegg, of Woodstock; and Antonio Delgado, of Rhinebeck.

“We’re concentrated on getting the nomination and beating Faso,” Flynn said. “We think we are going to win people over.”

Neal has considered public office for over a year, calling it a unique opportunity to make a difference in her community.

“I thought instead of sitting around talking about politics I should put my money where my mouth is,” Neal said.

Neal had no campaign events planned Friday.

“I am excited to have more opportunities to discuss issues,” Neal said. “I will answer any question in any town.”voter turnout rate for the 2016 elections, ranking 38th in turnout among all other states. New York tied with Nevada and South Carolina, according to data collected by the U.S. Election Project.

“We want opportunities,” Neal said. “We have different ideas of how to get those opportunities, but if we stop yelling at each other, we can possibly get there.”

If Democrats have difficulty winning seats in the House of Representatives because of her race for the 19th District, then the party has bigger problems than her, Neal said.

The 19th District is already a pivotal, high-profile target in this year’s elections, especially because of its schizophrenic political leaning. Both the Democratic and Republican congressional campaign committees acknowledge the 19th District is a toss-up.

The stakes are also high for both parties with Republicans recognizing Democrats need only two districts in the state to take back the majority in the House while Democrats are desperate to grab power in a federal government controlled by Republicans.

Other Democratic candidates include Brian Flynn, of Hunter; Patrick Ryan, of Gardiner; Jeff Beals, of Woodstock; David Clegg, of Woodstock; and Antonio Delgado, of Rhinebeck.

“We’re concentrated on getting the nomination and beating Faso,” Flynn said. “We think we are going to win people over.”

Neal has considered public office for over a year, calling it a unique opportunity to make a difference in her community.

“I thought instead of sitting around talking about politics I should put my money where my mouth is,” Neal said.

Neal had no campaign events planned Friday.

“I am excited to have more opportunities to discuss issues,” Neal said. “I will answer any question in any town.”