Republican Mick Zais is attempting to put the office back in Republican control for the first time in 12 years. The retired brigadier general faces Democrat Frank Holleman on Nov. 2.
Holleman helped launch the state's First Steps early childhood program and worked in the U.S. Education and Justice departments.
Zais is a vocal advocate of using tax credits to offset private tuition costs. Holleman opposes that idea and says it's time to move past that debate.
Holleman says expanding full-day 4-year-old kindergarten is critical. Zais says the money would be better spent on after-school tutoring.