|From||United States of America|
Richard Grady Neeson, Sr. (born November 11, 1946), is an American Democratic politician. He was a member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1980 to 1992, representing District 38 in Caddo and DeSoto parishes in northwestern Louisiana. A former resident of Shreveport, Neeson now resides in Fort Worth, Texas.
Neeson is one of three children of Henry Grady Neeson, Jr. (1927-2015), a Shreveport insurance agent and real estate businessman who was born in Benton in Bossier Parish, and the former Helon Anderson (born March 1926). His siblings are Brenda N. Lyons and husband, William, and Damon W. Neeson and wife, Kim, all of Shreveport. He is married to the former Sandra "Sandy" Scott (born 1948). Their children are Holly Elaine Neeson Cohen and husband, Alan, of Austin, Texas; Amy S. Neeson Weatherly and husband, Brad, of Arlington, Texas; Richard G. "Richie" Neeson, Jr., and wife Ashley of Fort Worth, and Sarah C. Neeson Sazama and husband, T. J., of Denver, Colorado.
In 1979, Neeson unseated one-term Democratic Senator Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee, a prominent civic leader and an officer of the Kilpatrick Funeral Home and Life Insurance companies, who died in 2015. Neeson was reelected in 1983 when he halted a challenge from former Democratic Senator Cecil K. Carter, Jr., whom Shehee had succeeded in 1975. In 1987, Neeson only narrowly defeated the Republican candidate, Ron Bean of Shreveport, 10,451 (50.2 percent) to 10,373 (49.8 percent). Four years later in 1991, Bean won the seat when Neeson declined to seek a fourth term, having narrowly defeated fellow Republican Tommy G. Armstrong, who had served fifteen years on the Caddo Parish Commission and a year in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Bean served from 1992 to 2004.
During his Senate tenure, Neeson chaired the Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works.
In 1986, Neeson introduced legislation to raise the drinking age from eighteen to twenty-one so as not to impair the receipt to the state of up to $30 million in annual federal highway assistance. Neeson's measure lost by a two-vote margin in the state House of Representatives, but the drinking age was later raised in a special session.