One of eight Democrats appointed to chair a standing committee in the Republican-controlled Texas House of Representatives, State Rep. Victoria Neave has a history of personal run-ins with the law and a record of opposing Republican-backed priorities.
Representing the metroplex cities of Garland and Mesquite since 2017, Neave was recently appointed as the chair of the County Affairs Committee by Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont). Two years ago, she was the chair of the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee.
In 2017, Neave participated in a four-day “hunger strike” to protest a measure cracking down on sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. Despite receiving national attention, she and other Democrats failed to block the legislation.
Neave made headlines only a few months into her first term when she was arrested in Dallas for driving while intoxicated after crashing her BMW into a tree around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.
The responding officers reported that Neave’s breath smelled like alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot, and she slurred her speech. She refused a breathalyzer test and a field sobriety test, and she did not provide a blood sample when asked. Instead, she told the officers, “I love you, and I will fight for you, and I’m invoking my Fifth Amendment rights.”
After her arrest, Neave’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Upon her conviction a few months later, she was stripped of her drivers license for 12 months.
She was re-elected in 2018 with 57 percent of the vote.
In 2019, Neave was sued for owing more than $50,000 in property taxes to Richardson Independent School District and Dallas County. Still, during that year’s legislative session, she voted against a measure that clamped down on how much local governments and school districts can raise property taxes each year.
Following the August 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart that killed 23 individuals, Neave called for a special session to restrict gun rights.
Earlier that year, she skipped a committee hearing for a bill that provides protections for babies who survive botched abortions. Although she later voted for the bill when it passed out of committee, she ultimately voted against it when it was brought to the entire House for consideration.
Neave participated in the Democrat walkout at the end of the 2021 regular session and subsequent 37-day quorum break during the first and second special sessions in an attempt to derail the passage of major election integrity reforms. She and dozens of other Democrat lawmakers spent more than six weeks in Washington, D.C., to protest the proposed reforms and to lobby Congress and the White House to put the federal government in charge of elections nationwide.
Before the walkout, Neave opposed an effort to ban gender mutilation procedures on children, barring the issue from receiving a vote by calling a point of order when State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) tried to incorporate this prohibition into another bill.
During her last term in office, Neave received a score of 14/100 from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a 5/100 from Texas Right to Life, an A+ from Equality Texas, and a 78/100 from the Sierra Club.
Upon her appointment, Neave issued a press release saying she is “ready to collaborate with my fellow Committee Members to move the ball forward for Texas families,” simultaneously pointing out that she is one of four women in the Texas House to be appointed as a committee chair.