It may seem as though the heights of political stardom is only for the wealthy, but a doggedly determined Ocean County entrepreneur is out to defy the odds.

Joseph Rudy Rullo wants to be New Jersey's next U.S. Senator, and says he'll trounce incumbent Democrat Robert Menendez this November.

During a one-on-one in the WOBM studios, Rullo conceded his maverick status within his own party. In fact, he trades on it. Rullo plans to bypass the screening process and entering a primary battle against whoever they choose. But he submits that his renegade approach will resonate deeply with disenfranchised voters throughout New Jersey.

Rullo is a familiar face among Ocean County Republicans and also among everyday people who have attended his solar energy seminars as early as 2003. Among his many alternative energy projects, he transformed an entire laundromat in Lakehurst for solar power.

Rullo tried taking the traditional route in a failed bid for Congress and says the experience left him disenchanted. He seems inspired by the successes generated by President Barack Obama through his Internet outreach and by Tea Party factions in town squares around the nation.

"I'm going to run my campaign the way a grass-roots campaign should be run," says Rullo. He's soliciting small-business operators such as himself, and says that he has the support of colleagues in the solar energy installation field. "Additionally...I believe that with the social networks that we have now, that my identification at about 100 percent."

Alternative energy, seniors, veterans, employment, economics and, particularly, ethics resonate through Rullo's platform. He tirelessly sheds light on questionable political practices. "And the way I do that," he says, "is by not selling out to don[ors}...promising things before I'm elected. The only thing I'll promise is that I'll change the United States of America."

Joseph Rudy Rullo harbors no illusions of an easy road to Capitol Hill, but he believes that the walls that insulate it are no longer impenetrable.