Rob Ortiz was widely viewed as a rising star in New Jersey politics in June 2007 when the political newcomer won 57% of the vote in his bid for Bergen County GOP Chairman after Guy Talarico stepped down one year early. The 35-year-old lawyer was a fundraiser for Rudy Giuliani – at the time the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination – and Bergen Republicans, down on Talarico and anxious to restore their former days of glory, saw Ortiz as a bright light for their future. But one year later, Ortiz is the underdog as he fights to win his first full two-year term as BCRO Chairman.
If Ortiz loses, one of the reasons may be his friend/client, Andy Unanue, the New Yorker/Coloradan who briefly entered the race for United States Senator in April. Ortiz expended considerable political capital to secure endorsements for Unanue, whose campaign was a disaster.