Dave McNeely, long-time Associated Press reporter and columnist, whose weekly column has been a long-running feature of The Huntsville Item, will be this year’s recipient of the Walker County Democrat Club’s Molly Ivins Defender of the First Amendment Award.
The award, with a talk by McNeely, will begin at 6 p.m. on February 29 at the Walker Education Center, located at 1402 19th Street. There will be a cash bar and silent auction in addition to the award. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for students and may be purchased by credit card at www.walkercountydemocrats.org or by calling 936-689-1320.
The award, dating back to 2007, celebrates the life and journalism career of Milly Ivins, the long-time and legendary Texas journalist and writer.
McNeely, 79, began his Texas journalism career in 1962 as a political reporter and student editor of The Daily Texan. After graduation his career included political reporting, focused on the Texas Legislature, for The Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News as well as KERA Public Radio and Television. For more than 26 years he wrote a column on Texas politics and the Legislature for The Austin-American Stateman. He also was a Congressional Fellow in Washington and held a Nieman Fellowship for Journalists at Harvard University.
He taught a course at UT on “The Press and Politics” with Paul Begala and Karl Rove. He also has taught opinion writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin. He is the co-author of “Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas” with Jim Henderson. He currently serves on the board of The Friends of The Daily Texan. He appeared in the 2019 documentary “RAISE HELL – The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.” He serves on the board of The Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism, named for his first wife who died of breast cancer in 1998.
McNeely lives in Austin and is married to Kathryn Longley, a Methodist pastor. Between them they have five children, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.