Northeast Tarrant

New Haltom City mayor makes history

Watch the swearing in ceremony for Haltom City’s first Vietnamese American mayor

Haltom City elected An Troung as the city's first Vietnamese American mayor. Troung's swearing in ceremony was during a council meeting May 14, 2019.
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Haltom City elected An Troung as the city's first Vietnamese American mayor. Troung's swearing in ceremony was during a council meeting May 14, 2019.

An overflow crowd filled the council chamber and spilled out into the hallway to welcome Haltom City’s new mayor.

An Truong made history Monday night when he was sworn in as the city’s first Vietnamese American mayor.

“You have a new tenant here,” Truong said as he took the mayor’s seat.

“I welcome everyone. I’m sorry that our chamber is too small. The majority of you are standing outside or in the parking lot. You are now a witness to historic events in this city. You elected the first Vietnamese mayor and four lady council members.”

Truong was referring to the city council which now has a majority of women serving.

Truong also spoke in Spanish to encourage the Hispanic community to be more involved with politics and volunteering in the city.

The swearing in ceremony was conducted in English, Vietnamese and Spanish.

Truong, 70, said he wanted to have an inclusive ceremony to highlight Haltom City’s diversity where almost 10 percent of the population is Asian.

Earlier this month, Truong defeated his two opponents with almost 60 percent of the vote.

Now that he is mayor, Truong said he wants to focus on what he sees as critical needs for the city including new homes for the police department and city hall.

Truong, who retired as an undercover investigator for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office, said he has plenty of time to devote to his responsibilities as mayor of this growing city.

Truong, one of 12 children, was born in Vietnam when the French still occupied Indochina. He said he wanted to be a fighter pilot to help fight communists in the north.

He came to the United States in 1968 to get training as a fighter pilot and to learn English. Truong returned to his country in 1970 and became a fighter pilot in the Vietnamese Air Force. He fought in Cambodia and Laos, and his plane was shot down twice.

When the war ended in 1975, Truong, along with his wife and two children came to the U.S. as refugeees where they settled in Pennsylvania. But the family did not like the cold winters and moved to Texas.

Outgoing mayor David Averitt said Haltom City will have a strong future.

“Bless mayor Truong and may God bless Haltom City,” Averitt said.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.

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