Advertisement

‘I’m ready to get to work’: Hai Huynh elected to the Coralville City Council


Hai Huynh, candidate for Coralville City Council — via haiforcoralville.com

In a special election with a higher voter turnout than last year’s regular city election, Coralville voters elected Hai Huynh to the city council last night. Huynh scored an impressive victory in the four-candidate race, receiving 52.5 percent of the votes cast. The second-place finisher was Barry Bedford with 35.5 percent of the vote.

Bedford was a well-known figure in Coralville prior to the election, having served as the city’s chief of police for 28 years before retiring in 2017. Huynh was a first-time candidate.

Huynh, who has lived in Coralville for two decades, is the community project coordinator for the Coralville Community Food Pantry. She has long been active as a volunteer at organizations such as the Coralville Public Library and Johnson County Conservation.

Huynh’s family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1993, when she was 16 years old. Huynh attended the University of Iowa, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. While at UI, she also attended La’ James International College, earning a cosmetology license.

“I chose to put down roots in Johnson County, where I have proudly lived in a mobile home community, a subsidized apartment, a duplex and a single-family home,” Huynh explained on her campaign site.

According to Huynh, those experiences helped her understand the challenges Coralville is facing.

“We build luxury apartments while many of our neighbors can barely afford rent,” she said. “We open fine dining restaurants while the daily line of cars at the food pantry wraps around the block. We are eager to fill an arena with tourists while our transit system struggles to get our own neighbors to their jobs and medical appointments.”

During the campaign, Huynh said improving public transit, developing plans to address climate change and taking action on issues of racial and economic justice were top priorities.

Huynh will be filling the seat left vacant by the resignation of long-time councilmember Tom Gill. Gill stepped down in July following widespread criticism of his description of people protesting for racial justice and police reform as “a bunch of criminals” during a city council meeting.

A total of 1,813 of Coralville’s 12,936 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, according to the results summary published by the Johnson County Auditor’s Office. That’s a turnout rate of 14.02 percent, which is higher than the last regularly scheduled city election in 2019, when 10.41 percent of registered voters participated.

Huynh received 951 of the 1,813 votes cast. Bedford received 644 votes, Nick Burrell finished with 200 votes and 16 voters cast their ballots for Heather Seitsinger.

In a post on her “Hai for Coralville” Facebook page, Huynh thanked her fellow candidates and all her supporters, as well as her husband and four children.

SIGN UP TODAY

Subscribe for daily news updates from Little Village

SUBSCRIBE

“The future of this city is bright, and we will all have a role to play in making this the BEST community in the state of Iowa,” Huynh wrote.

“I’m ready to get to work!”


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.