State Rep. Victoria Neave

The Texas House Democratic Caucus has named State Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, Freshman of the Year.

Neave beat incumbent Kenneth Sheets by about 800 votes in November while spending only about half as much in her campaign as he did in his.

Freshman legislators rarely sponsor bills that pass, but Neave bucked that trend when her bill to solicit donations from people applying for or renewing a driver’s license or state ID card to fund testing of rape kits. Much of the evidence from sexual assault cases remains untested because of a lack of funding. In 2011, the legislature passed a law requiring that evidence to be tested within 30 days but has never funded that mandate.

While receiving popular support in her district, Neave made a name for herself throughout the Dallas area by organizing and leading the Dallas Women’s March in January that attracted thousands of marchers.