A star is gone.
The New Jersey political world is in a state of shock today with the news that Rick Rosenberg, the 32-year old campaign manager of Jack Ciattarelli for Governor and one of the state’s political talents, has died.
Mr. Rosenberg of Middlesex County stood out in New Jersey politics, a true rarity who combined the virtues of a gentleman, a humble and friendly demeanor, voracious curiosity for the dynamics of campaigns and elections, and great political expertise, with tremendous drive and results.
“Thirty-two is not the time you’re supposed to go, not with so much in front of you and so much talent yet untapped,” said Mr. Rosenberg’s professional partner Chris Russell of CR Consulting. “He was the hardest-working guy I ever met. he had a chip on his shoulder in the best possible way, and poured himself into every race he took on. Big or small.
“He was proudly old school and never wanted the spotlight,” Russell added. “I’m sure he would be embarrassed by the outpouring of grief in response to his passing. I will miss him dearly. He without a question represented the best of New Jersey politics and his loss has left me numb.”
“News of Rick’s passing is incomprehensible, devastating and so terribly sad,” Ciattarelli said in a statement. “He was an incredible talent. More than anything, he was an incredible human being.”
Mr. Rosenberg died at his apartment in Lakehurst, where his roommates this morning discovered him unresponsive in the bathroom, where he apparently had slipped and fallen.
At a young age, the Rutgers University political science graduate compiled an extensive campaign record, traveling to Wisconsin to work for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and later overseeing over $1 million direct mail and television advertising campaign, designed localized earned media plans and supervised campaign managers in targeted legislative districts as the Executive Director of the Assembly Republican Victory in his home state of New Jersey. At a CR Consulting party in Monmouth County last year, his friends marveled at another talent he seldom displayed as he tenaciously advocated for others: impassioned oratory.
As Campaign Manager of the Ciattarelli Campaign, Mr. Rosenberg found himself in the familiar role of underdog. He relished that role, seizing on the chance to outwork, out-hustle and out-think the opposition as Ciattarelli’s go-to guy in one of the most exciting statewide campaigns in recent New Jersey history. Ciattarelli didn’t win the GOP Primary, but to the end, Mr. Rosenberg remained upbeat, energized and committed to victory.
“Hope to give you a real match up in the fall to report on,” was the last message he sent to InsiderNJ on the eve of the June 6th election.
A pro’s pro, the no-drama operative never sought recognition for himself or coverage that did not as a first priority advance the interests and intentions of those people for whom he worked.
“Rick Rosenberg was a consummate professional,” Somerset County Republican Organization Chairman Al Gaburo said. “He will be missed by all that knew him. All of us in the Somerset County Republican Organization will keep his family in our hearts and prayers.”