LITTLE EGG HARBOR-If Joseph “Rudy” Rullo was able to garner as many votes as he now has followers on social media, he would have easily defeated his opponent, former Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in the June 2017 Republican primary election.
In that election, Rullo got just 15,000 votes to Guadagno’s 113,000, but in the time since, Rullo never gave up on his conservative platform and political activism here in New Jersey. He has amassed over 300,000 followers on Facebook alone and reaches over 4,000,000 conservatives in the Garden State and tens of millions beyond our borders. Rullo’s audience in the two years since losing the primary election has surged and so has his popularity.
“I never gave up. I didn’t just lose and say, that’s it,” Rullo said. “At first it was hard, but I’ve been an active Republican supporter for years and I used that election as a learning experience and just kept doing what I do best, getting the message out there.”
In that time, Rullo has been an advocate of conservative and Republican platform values that are hard to come by in blue New Jersey. He dug in behind gun rights, freedom of speech and has been a devout supporter of President Donald J. Trump since day one.
“Look, we came into 2019 as the losing party, as the underdog. The message across the state was filled with despair and defeat,” Rullo said. “I looked at this differently, I wanted to turn it around and change the message of the New Jersey Republican Party being the party that was defeated to the party that is making a come back.”
Rullo rallied around the effort to Recall Governor Phil Murphy when few in the Republican establishment would even acknowledge it. To this day, most still do not.
“We have the recall effort, led by a large group of like-minded residents who are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” he added. “The recall flipped that message and instead of waving the white flag, we said we’re coming after you…we’re going to do this and we’re really going to save Jersey this time around.”
Rullo credits grassroots conservatives statewide for the resurgence in energy in Republican candidates in this year’s critical Murphy midterm assembly elections.
“We have some great candidates out there this year that have a good shot at winning their races against the Democrats to take back the assembly and Mike Testa is doing all the right things to win back the Senate seat vacated by Van Drew,” Rullo said. “Next year we have Trump at the top of our ticket and we’re in a great position to remove liberal Democrat Andy Kim from Congressional District 3, we just have to keep the positive energy rolling.”
Rullo also spoke very favorably of Hirsh Singh, the Republican candidate challenging Newark Democrat Cory Booker for U.S. Senate.
“Cory Booker’s tenure in office has been a complete joke and he has accomplished absolutely nothing for the people of New Jersey,” Rullo said. “Hirsh is a Republican who can bring New Jersey together and will help us move forward in the right direction. It’s been almost 50 years since a Republican in New Jersey won a U.S. Senate seat. Hirsh is our best shot.”
Aside from Rullo’s obvious political favoritism towards Republicans, he has also become a media influencer, outperforming many of New Jersey’s largest media entities on social media. Rullo’s audience is twice that of the Asbury Park Press newspaper and NJ 101.5 radio station.
In the world of New Jersey conservative media voices, nobody comes close.
GOP establishment mouthpiece Bill Spadea and his Chasing News late-night cable tv talk show has 20,000 followers. Fox News contributor and his former primary opponent Steve Rogers has just 8,000 followers.
In fact, the New Jersey GOP state party has just 85,000 followers.
Rullo did not say whether or not he will run for office again but said, for now, he is happy to be a vital part of the resurgence of energy in conservative values and the traditional Republican platform across New Jersey.
“Being an accomplished actor, being in the spotlight is comfortable for me,” he said. “If I can use my large audience to push for positive change in New Jersey and to help us swing the momentum from a gun-grabbing sanctuary state led by a corrupt Democrat political machine in a different direction, then all of this is worth it. I have always enjoyed supporting good local Republican candidates and have offered support to campaigns here in Ocean County and beyond for many years. It doesn’t matter what the party leaders want or think, I know what the average every day Republican and independent conservative voters want to see happen in New Jersey and will keep fighting for them.”