SOMERVILLE, NJ – Leaders of New Jersey’s Republican establishment, political opponents, family, friends and others are expected to pause and pay their respects Thursday and Friday to Rick Rosenberg, Jr. a trusted and respected front lines political operative who died at his home in Lakehurst Monday.
Rosenberg, 31, a 2009 graduate of Rutgers University, had spent considerable time since graduation as a political consultant and campaign manager in New Jersey and elsewhere; he was hired by Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli in December, 2016 to run his GOP Primary campaign for the Gubernatorial nomination, which he lost to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the statewide primary June 6.
Ciattarelli, a state Assemblyman and resident of Hillsborough, spent long hours with Rosenberg on a daily basis during those seven months, on the road campaigning, as well as strategizing and working the phones in the candidate’s statewide campaign headquarters on Main Street Somerville.
“News of Rick’s passing is incomprehensible, devastating and so terribly sad. He was an incredible talent. More than anything, he was an incredible human being,” Ciattarelli said Monday. ”My deepest condolences to the Rosenberg family at this difficult time.”
The viewing will be Thursday from 2-4.p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Bronson & Guthlein Funeral Home, 152 No. Main St., Milltown.
Funeral services are Friday 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Entombment will follow in Franklin Memorial Park, North Brunswick, NJ. After services, the family invites guests to a special celebration of Rick’s life at the South River American Legion, 264 Whitehead Ave., South River NJ 08882.
A memorial scholarship has been set up in his name; Rosenberg’s parents, Rick and Monica Rosenberg have requested that donations be made to the fund in lieu of flowers.
“Setting up a scholarship fund is a great way to pay tribute to the memory of Rick and his commitment to public service,” Ciattarelli said yesterday. “I look forward to being one of the first to make a contribution to jumpstart the fund.”
Donations to the Rick Rosenberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund can be mailed to: Rick Rosenberg Fund, in care of Chris Russell, 5 Banyan Court, Jackson NJ, 08527.
Public service, and politics, was in his blood; Rosenberg was elected to two terms on the South River Board of Education and served on the board from 2004-2010 while attending Rutgers.
Rosenberg worked with Russell at CR Consulting.
“I’m still in kind of a state of disbelief,” Russell said yesterday. “Rick was not only a business partner but a really, really close friend, he almost felt like a younger brother; to not have him here anymore, it’s hard to wrap your mind around.
“The outpouring of support has been touching and helpful at the same time; it makes you realize he had the world in front of him,” Russell added. “He was one of the best political operatives in this state. I don’t think it's hyperbole to say he would have been one of the best in the country. ‘’
Below is the full obituary for Rosenberg as released by the funeral home:
Rick Rosenberg, Jr. of Lakehurst, NJ (formerly of South River) passed away suddenly on June 24, 2017. He was 31 years old.
During Rick’s short time with us he touched an immeasurable amount of people both personally and professionally. Rick is survived by his parents, Rick and Monica Rosenberg of South River, his grandfather, Robert J. Rosenberg and his wife Karen of Franklin, NC, grandmother Susan Wendling of Monroe, his uncle Robert (“Rob”) Rosenberg and his wife Mirian of Falls Church, VA, his uncle John Marcinkiewicz of New Brunswick, his cousin Robbie Rosenberg of East Brunswick and many other adoring relatives. Rick was predeceased by his loving grandmother, Jeanette (nee: Bowers) Rosenberg.
While attending South River High School, Rick developed a passion in politics where he helped design a winning strategy that placed Republicans in control of his hometown after 13 years of Democratic rule. Rick also ran and was subsequently elected school board member in South River when he was just 19 – at that time earning him the distinction of the youngest school board member in Middlesex County.
Throughout his attendance at Rutgers University, Rick held various positions with the NJ Republican Party and statewide campaigns. After graduating from Rutgers with his Political Science degree, Rick continued his career in various roles including serving as campaign manager for a State Assembly race, chief-of-staff for a state legislator, and later became the executive director of the Assembly Republican Victory campaign statewide, with the enormous responsibility of overseeing a $1 million+ mail and advertising campaign.
Rick then headed up a congressional campaign in South Carolina. In 2012 he served as the state operations manager for Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign in the battleground state of Wisconsin.
In 2013 Rick joined Chris Russell Consulting and most recently served as the campaign manager for NJ Gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli.
Rick is already dearly missed by all and we can only hope for solace through sharing the wonderful memories of this great human being as well as his numerous accomplishments. Rick, until the time we are reunited with you in Heaven, your memory will be cherished for the rest of our days.
The family will receive friends Thursday 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. at the Bronson & Guthlein Funeral Home of Milltown, NJ. Funeral services, Friday 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Entombment to follow in Franklin Memorial Park, North Brunswick, NJ. After services, please join the family for a Special Celebration of Rick’s life at the South River American Legion, 264 Whitehead Ave. South River NJ 08882.
In Lieu of Flowers please consider a Gift to the Rick Rosenberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please make checks payable to above and mail to Chris Russell c/o Rick Rosenberg Fund, 5 Banyan Court, Jackson NJ, 08527.