PARSIPPANY, NJ - Laura Fortgang, one of two local Democratic candidates for the state Assembly this year, officially kicked off her campaign Thursday night at a house party on Brighton Terrace in Parsippany.

Fortgang said she could no longer sit idly by when the state has a "crisis of affordability." She added that state leaders must invest more wisely in transportation, health care and education.

Commenting on the "affordability" issue, Fortgang said she's troubled many seniors can no longer afford to stay in New Jersey and that young college graduates often wind up living with their parents.

Sign Up for E-News

Fortgang, of Verona, is running with Democrat Christine Clarke of Jefferson. The Democrats are challenging incumbent Republicans Jay Webber of Morris Plains and Bettylou DeCroce of Parsippany in the 26th District, which includes parts of Morris, Passaic and Essex counties. Parsippany is the largest town in the district.

About 50 people or so were on hand for Fortgang's kickoff, including Mayor Michael Soriano.

A fellow Democrat, Soriano said Fortgang understands the need to bring those who are forgotten or "left out" into the mainstream.

Tossing a baseball up and down in the air to stress teamwork, Soriano said Fortgang knows how to put a strong team together.