LGBTQ

Anti-LGBTQ+ Senate candidate linked to gay profile on adult hook-up site

Bernie Moreno

Bernie Moreno Photo: Screenshot

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Ohio primary, a top anti-LGBTQ+ Republican Senate candidate is facing questions about a profile on an adult hook-up site linked to his email address.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that in late 2008, a profile seeking “1-on-1” sexual encounters with “young guys” was set up on the Adult Friend Finder website using a work email belonging to Ohio Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno.

The profile, listed under the username “nardo19672,” reportedly includes a caption reading, “Hi, looking for young guys to have fun with while traveling.” The username appears to reference Moreno’s full first name, Bernardo, and the month and year of his birth. The profile also lists his full date of birth but does not include a photo. According to the AP, geolocation data also shows that the profile was set up by someone in a part of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Moreno’s parents owned a home in 2008. The profile has not been accessed since about six hours after it was created over 15 years ago.

The AP’s report is based in part on records made public in the adult site’s massive 2016 data breach, as well as other publicly available information.

Republican party officials have reportedly known about the profile for at least a month and had already linked it to Moreno’s email prior to the AP’s report.

On Thursday, Moreno’s lawyer, Charles Harder, claimed that Dan Ricci, who was an intern at Moreno’s company in late 2008, was responsible for creating the Adult Friend Finder profile.

“I am thoroughly embarrassed by an aborted prank I pulled on my friend and former boss, Bernie Moreno, nearly two decades ago,” Ricci said in a statement provided by Harder. According to the AP, Ricci donated $6,599 to Moreno’s Senate campaign in 2023.

In another statement provided by Moreno’s lawyer, former Bernie Moreno Companies vice president Helder Rosa confirmed that Ricci was an intern at the company in November 2008 and would have likely had access to Moreno’s email. Rosa has also donated to Moreno’s campaign, the AP reported.

Prior to his first Senate run in 2021, Moreno, who has said his eldest son is gay, was a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. But according to the AP, during his current campaign, he has accused advocates for LGBTQ+ rights of pushing a “radical” agenda of “indoctrination” and described opponents Frank LaRose, Ohio’s Secretary of State, and state Sen. Matt Dolan as supporting a “radical trans agenda.” He has been endorsed by anti-LGBTQ+ group Ohio Values Voters.

But it was an endorsement from former president and current presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump endorsement that made Moreno a frontrunner for Ohio’s hotly contested Senate seat this year. Now, sources told the AP, GOP officials in both Washington and Ohio are worried that questions around the Adult Friend Finder profile could jeopardize the party’s chances of winning Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Senate seat — and control of the chamber — if Moreno becomes their nominee.

Trump and Moreno are scheduled to appear together at a rally in Ohio on Saturday.

Originally Published Here.

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