The death of a young consultant considered one of the rising stars in New Jersey politics has shocked the campaign community.
Rick Rosenberg, 32, was found dead Saturday at his home in Ocean County, New Jersey. He previously served as the manager for Republican Jack Ciattarelli’s 2017 gubernatorial run and was the second name on the shingle of Chris Russell’s self-named New Jersey-based firm.
Russell called Rosenberg a “Jersey guy, through and through,” and recalled how he’d work his way up from a leader of college Republicans at Rutgers University to a chief of staff position at the state House and later as a campaign manager. “He didn’t have anything handed to him and he didn’t expect to have anything handed to him,” Russell said.
Even as he was getting tapped for statewide races, Rosenberg would still make time to meet with potential clients — regardless of their chances for success. “No job or race was too small,” said Russell. “He wasn’t a big timer. He treated everyone with respect.”
Russell said he knew Rosenberg from his work in New Jersey before he hired him in 2013 as he was coming off a stint on Mitt Romney’s presidential in Wisconsin. “I saw in him something I always liked,” Russell said. “He worked his tail off; always had his motor running. He would have been a great candidate if he hadn’t been a consultant.”
Other consultants also recognized Rosenberg’s talent. On Twitter, pollster Jim McLaughlin called him “one of the best.” Former clients also lauded Rosenberg’s promising future.
Ciattarelli, in a Facebook post, called him “an incredible talent.”
“More than anything, he was an incredible human being,” the Republican assemblyman wrote.
Russell put the loss in similar terms. “I don’t know that he’s replaceable for the kind of things he brought to the firm and to me as a friend,” Russell said. “He had more statewide races in his future. I’m just sad he’s not going to get his chance to do it.”
A funeral service is set for Friday.