LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's a heated race, one that will be decided in days.
District 12 state representative is a coveted seat and Democrat Jim McReynolds and Republican James White are fighting to get there.
McReynolds and White know in the race to the Texas house, there's big issues at stake like Texas's budget.
"We'll certainly look for efficiencies in agencies and that will be the very first place that we go, maybe the combining of some agencies to deliver the same service," said McReynolds.
"We vote to close this revenue shortfall in Austin by not taking money out of the private sector, but by leaving as much money in the private sector, so that means we are going to have to cut the budget," White said.
McReynolds, a former professor, and White, a current teacher say education is critical.
White said he would take a closer look at the budget for education and decrease spending that is not directly impacting the classroom.
McReynolds said the current formula needs to be adjusted so children in all districts are equal.
Both candidates know jobs have to come to the area and say they'll work to get them here.
"As you know, there's a margins tax in Texas," McReynolds explained. "What if we could give tax credits to employers that would indeed hire somebody that's unemployed, keep them on the payroll, let's say for a calendar year."
"You need job creators and I think in our private, free-market system, you create job creators by maximizing liberty and freedom," said White. "Now, how do we do that? First of all, you can't raise taxes and you can't come up with new taxes."
However, beyond the issues, there's the mudslinging.
"In all of my races, I've never mentioned an opponent, but I find it sad and disgusting and it makes me question an opponent's integrity when they say things that cannot be true at all and if they would say that in order to receive favor from the constituents, what kind of legislator would they make," said McReynolds.
"These are his votes," White claimed. "He voted to allow hundreds of millions of taxpayer money and benefits to people who violate our laws..."
"I've been accused of giving illegal immigrants the right to vote," McReynolds claimed. "Do you know that would be impossible? Couldn't happen."
"You have to make the case to the voters why they should elect you and not re-elect the incumbent and that's what we're trying to do," said White.
The decision is one voters in District 12 will make in just a few days.
On border security, McReynolds said Texas is taking action by sending surveillance cameras and aircraft to the border.
White said we need tougher enforcement of immigration laws.