STEUBENVILLE — One month after winning the Republican nomination for their respective races, Bernie Moreno and state Sen. Michael Rulli made a campaign stop at Steubenville’s First Christian Church Saturday, rallying voters against Sen. Sherrod Brown for the November general election.

A businessman with experience in auto sales and blockchain technology, Moreno won a three-way primary in March to nab the nomination, setting him up to contest the incumbent Brown, a Democrat, who has held his Senate seat since 2007.

Rulli, a Mahoning Valley native, represents state Senate District 33 and is serving his four-year second term, which expires in 2026. Also having won a three-way primary, Rulli is competing against Democrat Michael Kripchak for the Ohio’s 6th Congressional District seat formerly held by Bill Johnson.

The two will face off in a June 11 special election to fill the remainder of the term Johnson resigned from in January to become the president of Youngstown State University and then again in November for the full term that begins in January.

During Saturday’s meet-and-greet, Rulli asked individuals for their vote in the June 11 special election for the remainder of Johnson’s unexpired term. In addition, he emphasized the perceived importance of unseating Brown in favor of Moreno

REPUBLICANS — Bernie Moreno, second from left, and state Sen. Michael Rulli, center, stood with members of the Jefferson County Republican Party during a campaign stop in Steubenville Saturday. From left are party Chairman Brian Scarpone; Moreno; Rulli; Ron “Jake” Kleineke, candidate for Jefferson County commissioner, and the Rev. Nate Freeman, central committee chairman. — Christopher Dacanay

“Sherrod Brown needs to go, and he needs to go this year,” Rulli said. “We’re already going to get (Sen. Joe) Manchin’s seat (in West Virginia.) If we get Bernie in there, we (Republicans) could have the House, we could have the Senate and we could have the White House with … good conservatives that are going to bring what you hired us to do to reality.”

Ohio’s March 19 primary election reaped positive results, Moreno said, noting that he was victorious in all 88 counties, won 51 percent of the vote in a three-way race and earned 27 percent more votes than the second-place candidate in Jefferson County.

Moreno said the area of the 6th Congressional District, historically a swing region, is going to be the deciding factor in the Nov. 5 election. Voters in that region will be the difference between Democrats controlling the three branches of government, should President Joe Biden be re-elected.

A Democrat-controlled country, Moreno claimed, would mean “mass ballot harvesting,” packing the Supreme Court, making Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico states to increase Democratic representation and creating a “dependency culture” centered around government aid. In the event of a return to the presidency by Donald Trump, a Democratic Senate would only obstruct his efforts.

As for Brown, Moreno claimed he fails to be bipartisan, consistently aligning with a Democratic voter block. Moreno noted Brown’s vote in March, along with all Senate Democrats, to strike down a proposed amendment to the pending appropriations bill that would prohibit the use of tax dollars for relocating, within the U.S., immigrants lacking permanent legal status.

Moreno noted instances he perceived to be misuses of American tax dollars, including plans by Biden to have the U.S. military construct a temporary humanitarian aid port in the Gaza Strip, as well as a $53 million pilot program in New York City through which migrants would receive prepaid debit cards for buying food and baby supplies.

“What is this election ultimately, really about?” Moreno said. “We’re deciding that we’re sick and tired of sending people to Washington, D.C., to … put their interests first and screw over … the American people. … For too long, we’ve looked the other way and we’ve allowed this to happen. … And this election is about saying no more.”

Regarding his own policies, Moreno said he stands with Donald Trump on his policies, a quality that earned him Trump’s endorsement. Moreno’s core priorities include cutting government spending, bolstering American manufacturing, aiming for energy independence and securing the U.S. border with Mexico and ending amnesty.

“We’re going to build the largest deportation task force in American history,” Moreno said, adding that his criteria for letting people into the country will be based on their willingness to assimilate, assurance that they won’t contribute to lowering wages in the country and being additives to the economy, not taking “any benefits.”

In addition to facing the June 11 special election, Rulli will be running for a full two-year term in the House during the Nov. 5 election.

Purported to be the first Republican to be elected to the state Senate in Youngstown, Rulli summarized his political policies: “Pro-gun, pro-blue (police), pro-baby 100 percent. I’ve never broken from that.”

Rulli said his hopes for the 6th District include capitalizing on energy by utilizing the oil and natural gas-rich Marcellus and Utica shale regions that set the region apart and could “literally put the Middle East out of business.” Bringing in jobs up and down the Ohio River means having the energy supply to support those industries, Rulli said, noting that he contributed toward bringing the three power plants in Wellsville and Lordstown.

Having the power supply will support industrial developments, which will in turn give future Ohio Valley generations a place to work so they no longer need to seek employment elsewhere, Rulli said, adding, “We have to let them know this is their home.”

During a question-and-answer period, Moreno and Rulli stated their belief that the federal government should not be involved in ensuring affordable childcare is available. Moreno said it’s a state issue, while Rulli said that tax breaks may be a way to nurture more childcare options sprouting up.

Both also expressed their desire to see the U.S. reassess its financial support for Ukraine in its war against Russia. Rulli alleged that Ukraine is a country known to be corrupt and said more oversight is needed to ensure money isn’t getting “skimmed off the top.”

Answering other questions, Moreno said he supports eliminating electric vehicle incentives and dissolving the federal Department of Education.