Laura Fortgang, a 21-year resident of Verona and internationally recognized career counselor and coach, is seeking election to the State Assembly in New Jersey’s 26th legislative District. Fortgang, a Democrat, said she wants to see New Jersey begin moving forward, and reverse the backward course the state has been following during the Christie administration.

“The New Jersey legislature is the last line of defense that protects the rights and interests of our citizens against the changes happening in Washington,” Fortgang said. “As potentially devastating cuts in federal funding for education, health care, women’s health, and other areas threaten the stability of our communities, I want to be a voice for the common-sense approaches that unite all New Jerseyans on common ground. We need solutions that work for all people, not just some.”

Fortgang, a professional career and executive coach, and owner of her own firm, InterCoach, Inc., has spent the past twenty-five years counseling professionals about the challenges they face in their businesses and their personal lives and guides them through the process of identifying and implementing the solutions that will result in success. Her campaign logo is “Common Sense, Common Ground,” an acknowledgment, she said, of the way politicians inflame divisions among voters to advance their own agendas while ignoring the common values and goals that the residents of the 26th share.

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“We all want the same things,” Fortgang said. “We all want safe neighborhoods, good schools, and affordable health care. We all want security for our seniors, opportunity for our children, and prosperity for our families. These are not partisan issues,” she said.

Fortgang is the mother of three children, twins who attend Verona High School, and a son at Rutgers University. She and her husband, Mark Fortgang, are both self-employed, and count themselves among the small business owners that account for 51 percent of New Jersey’s private workforce. She said she has a deep understanding of the challenges small business owners face, especially on the issue of health care. At public appearances, Fortgang tells the story of her four-year, four-state odyssey to find the correct diagnosis and treatment for one of their three children, who suffers from a rare medical condition.

“Our insurance does not cover his treatment, and at certain times, the cost of his prescriptions have exceeded the cost of our monthly premiums,” she said.

This experience has also made Fortgang a passionate supporter of medical marijuana.

“Struggling to stay afloat while medical bills pile up. Advocating on behalf of a special needs child. Balancing career with family. As a working mother who runs her own business and an active community volunteer, I know that I share these challenges with my neighbors,” Fortgang said. “I want to hear the stories of the hard-working families in New Jersey’s 26th district and represent their best interests in Trenton. I want to cast votes that make sense for the people of New Jersey,” she said.  

Laura Fortgang, 54, grew up in New Providence, N.J., and earned a degree in communications from Boston University. After a successful career in the performing arts, Fortgang became a certified life coach through Coach University, the first training school of its kind in the world, and a founding member of the industry’s credentialing organization. Through her own firm, InterCoach, Inc., she works with C-suite executives and business owners alike to strategize career and life direction. A professional public speaker, Laura is a frequent guest on network and cable news and has appeared on Oprah, CBS’ Early Show, Today on NBC, Good Morning America, CNBC, and CNN. Laura’s five best-selling books have been published in 13 languages, and she is well known as a longtime contributing editor to Redbook Magazine and a blogger for Huffington Post.