Reeves, a former Missouri representative and Clay County collector, said cuts to education are frightening. In 2010, 2,500 teachers positions were eliminated statewide.
"My biggest issue is public schools and what we can do to strengthen them," she said. "Economic development says that they have to have a skilled workforce to survive -- to compete with Germany and China. I want our students competing with Germany and China, not Mississippi."
Silvey, a Missouri representative, says creating an environment for businesses to be able to expand and add jobs is the top issue.
"There are a couple of things we can do. One is to reign in some regulations that the state has made it difficult to expand," he said. "Obviously continuing to balance our budget without raising taxes is crucial to getting companies to come here as well."
Overall it's regulations and tax codes that make it difficult for businesses, Silvey said.
Senate District 17 includes much of southwest Clay County.