Toms River attorney Michael Cooke who ran as a democrat last year for an Ocean County freeholder position, now turns his attention towards a 10th district Assembly seat.

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Among the issues Cooke plans to address is the drug epidemic and continuing to crack down on the suppliers.

"We've created this black market economy where the worst of the worst people who have no regard for their future, not all of them but many of them...the people who are most invested in selling this stuff...they're just not people who care about other human beings," said Cooke.

Even though he admits that it's not exactly harmless, Cooke does favor the proposal to legalize marijuana in New Jersey because it may serve as a plus for the economy.

"You're going to save a lot of money in municipal and criminal courts by not going out there and having to enforce this," said Cooke.

Another issue Cooke hopes to address is lowering the real estate tax.

"What I've been looking at and proposing is that we move more towards a progressive income tax because at least it's a rational connection between how an individual family does in a given year in their finances and how much they're expected to pay to the government," said Cooke.

He also wants to see revisions to the school funding formula so districts have enough money for renovations.

"If we had a broad authority who could take care of that, whose responsibility it was on a regular basis take care of those things and every year have a certain budget to do that...it would save money," said Cooke.

Cooke says there needs to be more of a focus on climate change and what we can do to promote more clean sources of energy.

"We should, as our part in overall trying to reduce climate change, we should be in the business of renewable's and things like that," said Cooke.

We'll also be voting in a new governor in November, and Cooke says he concurs with the plan mapped out by Democratic candidate Phil Murphy.

He feels Murphy's plan to make community college free is a good idea.

"I think anything you can do to help parents give their children a great education is a good thing...I think that's (free community college) is an excellent idea, it's an excellent plan," said Cooke.

Ocean County College and Brookdale Community College are two shore institutions that could be impacted by that plan.

Cooke and Ray Baker will oppose Republicans Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe in November.

"Given the choices you have in November, I'm the best one for Assembly in the 10th district," said Cooke.

You can view where Cooke stands on a number of other issues he says need to be addressed in the video above or his page on votesmart.org.

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