Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
topical alert top story

Candidate Q&A: 2nd Congressional District Republican Primary

  • 0
U.S. Congressional District 2

Two GOP candidates running for Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District will meet in the Aug. 9 primary, with the winner going on to face incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, in the Nov. 8 general election. The term is for two years. Douglas Alexander, who is running as an independent, will also be running on the Nov. 8 ballot. The 2nd Congressional District leans heavily Democratic and includes the counties of Dane, Iowa, Lafayette, Sauk and Green, as well as portions of Richland and Rock counties.

Charity Barry

Charity Barry


Age: 26

Address: 1049 Miller Road, Mineral Point

Family: Single

Job: Ground crew supervisor, Higher Ground

Prior elected office: None

Other public service: Varied volunteering through faith-based organizations since 2008, Wildlife Foster with Wisconsin WildCare since 2017

Education: Music engraving, private apprenticeship (in progress)

Email or Website:

Erik Olsen

Erik Olsen


Age: 46

Address: 111 W. Wilson St., Apt. 307, Madison

Family: Engaged

Job: Attorney, private practice

Prior elected office: None

Other public service: None

Education: Law degree, master’s degree, UW-Madison

Email or Website:


Why are you the best candidate for the job?

Barry: I am a lifelong resident of the 2nd Congressional District that is willing to fight to truly represent the people. We need a representative that loves our country, puts people over party narratives, and works for sustainable results over fleeting virtue signals. I am that candidate, and I will not back down under pressure.

Olsen: The incumbent has been in the position for five terms, I think that it is important to get new voices and new energy into Congress.

What unique experience/expertise do you bring to the office?

Barry: Hard work in a blue-collar business and solid relationships with people, from immigrants to multigenerational farmers, successful business owners to low-income families, and everything in between, has taught me valuable, practical life lessons and given me the ability to take a multifaceted perspective to Washington. Coming from a background not centered in politics, but truly being able to understand the effects of policy on our day-to-day life, brings better focus to decision-making in D.C. I am not a career politician, well-to-do attorney, or high-class socialite, and that sets me apart.

Olsen: I have been doing civil litigation in the Wisconsin and federal court systems for 17 years, primarily representing Wisconsin landowners to protect their constitutional rights. Working in the court system, and litigating against the government, and doing a substantial amount of appellate work, all provide a good understanding of how laws actually function once they are written and passed.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge before Congress and how would you work to address that in the upcoming term?

Barry: Congress needs to take action on the inflation that is crippling our citizens. We need to balance our national budget, taking an honest look at what we can cut or reduce; responsibly attain energy independence; bring manufacturing home to become independent in production; stop incentivizing the destruction of farmland with unreliable industrial energy developments; and simplify the tax code for the average American.

Olsen: I think that the biggest challenge is how to regain Congress’ respect from the American people. Currently Congress’ approval is below 20%. Congress will need to work together to get the economy back on track so that families are able to make ends meet. Working together will also help with public approval. The public is tired of bickering; they want elected leaders to work together to solve the country’s problems.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Badger Sports

Breaking News