The year was 2000. New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman was mid-way through her second term in office, and would soon depart the position to become EPA Director following the election of George W. Bush as President. That part is all history.
What some may not remember – or even know – is that earlier that year, Whitman made a cameo appearance on the new Law and Order spin-off, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
The episode, which aired on April 28th, was the 19th of the series’ first season and was titled ‘Contact’ and the plot centered on the squad’s efforts to capture a serial subway rapist.
Towards the end of the episode, a face familiar to Jersey politicos appeared, albeit for only a few seconds in the background. Governor Whitman played a precinct clerk, according to IMD, and it was an uncredited appearance.
Whitman had no (audible) lines, but nods in understanding at Captain Cragen’s directive: ‘OK, Detective, I want you to run this down’, handing her a file folder.
Whitman resigned in 2003 as EPA Director, but has remained vocal in government and politics. Last month, she endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld for the GOP nomination for President, and has been critical of Republican President Trump.
As for SVU, unlike New Jersey Governors, the popular show knows no term limits. Its currently in its 21st season, and has been renewed for another three.