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Glasscock, Pierce advance to November general election for City Council District 4 seat

Celia Hack
Dalton Glasscock speaks to supporters at his home on election night, after unofficial results of his victory are announced.

Dalton Glasscock won 50% of the vote, while Judy Pierce took the next-biggest share at 24%.

Dalton Glasscock, a small business owner and prominent member of the local Republican party, won the District 4 City Council primary election, gaining over half of the vote.

“We got above 50% of the vote in a four-way race,” Glasscock said Tuesday night. “I think our message resonated at getting government back to the basics, focusing on public safety, infrastructure and just getting city hall where it should be.”

But he’s still got to face off against Judy Pierce, who garnered 24% of the vote, in the November general election. Pierce is the president of the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation, a nonprofit group that represents 30 unions in south-central Kansas. Pierce is endorsed by the Sedgwick County Democratic Party.

She said her first priority, should she win the general election, is getting people in south Wichita jobs with a living wage.

Sarah Beauchamp
Pierce celebrates her advancement to the November general election alongside Esau Freeman, business representative of the SEIU Local 513.

“If we have living-wage jobs, then people pay taxes, and people can afford to get in housing,” Pierce said. “We have to build housing that’s affordable for them. … We have to build housing they can live in, have a good life, have a vacation once in a while.”

The two came out on top in a four-person race that also featured Bentley Blubaugh, operator of a local doughnut shop, and Alan Oliver, a retiree. The incumbent council member, Jeff Blubaugh, termed out and is not eligible for reelection. Bentley is his nephew.

Glasscock said his top issue, should he win in November, is public safety and filling vacancies in the police department. But first, he said, he would want to build rapport with other council members.

“For me, I’m running to be one of seven,” Glasscock said. “And my job is to work with my colleagues. I can’t do anything unilaterally.

“I have a history and record of bipartisanship and consensus building, and I’m ready to bring that to city hall and build relationships with my colleagues.”

Glasscock has been a leader in the Sedgwick County GOP since at least 2018, when he was elected party chairman and scrutinized for his sexuality. Glasscock is openly gay.

In 2020, Sedgwick County Republicans elected him to briefly fill a county commission vacancy after a former commissioner resigned following a political scandal. Glasscock also serves as the chairman for the District 4 advisory board, which acts as a sounding board for City Council members.

He raised around $42,000 in the primary election, about $40,000 more than Pierce. She raised $1,025, primarily from the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation and the Kansas AFL-CIO.

At 75, Pierce has had a long career as a union leader, serving as treasury secretary for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local #774 from 1997 to 2012 and as the current president of the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation.

Glasscock said his political experience gives him an edge over his opponent. Pierce said her extensive time spent as a labor organizer gives her the experience necessary to lead.

She said one of her goals is to replace city manager Robert Layton, who was hired by the City Council and has served since 2008.

“I don’t like Layton at all,” Pierce said. “I think he’s been there too long. He needs to get replaced. We need to take care of the city workers. These are hard people working and can’t make a living.”

Celia Hack is a general assignment reporter for KMUW. Before KMUW, she worked at The Wichita Beacon covering local government and as a freelancer for The Shawnee Mission Post and the Kansas Leadership Center’s The Journal. She is originally from Westwood, Kansas, but Wichita is her home now.