LAKEHURST — Political consultant Rick Rosenberg, the campaign manager for Republican Jack Cittarelli's recent run for governor, was found dead in his home on Saturday.

The news site More Monmouth Musings reported the 32-year-old was found unresponsive in his bathroom of his Lakehurst home  around 9:30 a.m. A police source told the site no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found.

"I am shocked and saddened by the passing of Rick Rosenberg. He was an amazing man who touched the lives of so many in this state with his talent, passion and dedication to growing the Republican Party," Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno wrote on her Facebook page. She defeated Cittarelli in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

"God bless Rick & his family. I'm deeply saddened. I will miss him," primary opponent Joseph Rudy Rullo said in a tweet.

Congressman Tom MacArthur, a client of consultant Chris Russell whose firm Rosenberg rejoined after the election said, “Rick Rosenberg touched the lives of so many in his short time with us. His energy and enthusiasm for life and politics was contagious and I join his family, friends, and colleagues in mourning his untimely passing."

"The Political Science Department mourns the passing of Rick Rosenberg, '08," tweeted the Rutgers Political Science Department where Rosenberg earned his degree.

Veteran political writer and New Jersey 101.5 Statehouse bureau chief Mike Symons said Rosenberg was "a very nice guy and very good at what he did. This was the kind of news that makes you double-take when you see it, thinking that must be about another person with the same name because that can’t possibly be true."

New Jersey 101.5 morning show host Bill Spadea called Rosenberg "one of the good guys" of New Jersey politics. "I'm shocked to hear this. Just talked to him right before the primary booking Jack on the show."

Harry Hurley of sister station WPG in Atlantic City said he was also in touch daily with Rosenberg during the campaign. "No matter how daunting the task seemed, or, no matter what margin Jack was trailing in the polls ... Rick was relentless in his efforts on behalf of and belief in that his candidate would win," HUrley said. "Our great state is so much poorer without Rick in it. He didn't mark time, he made a difference."

Rosenberg's biography on their site said Rosenberg "knows how to win tough elections, despite being out-spent and out-numbered by the opposition. Rick takes pride in fighting for the underdogs and works around the clock to ensure victory."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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