Leonhardt said the state Legislature has held businesses back. He said lawmakers have allowed the state to fall behind on education and done little to encourage people to live and work here.
"We've been held back for so many years," he said. "Why isn't West Virginia flourishing? I think we need to get in there and bring West Virginia into a new era."
Helmick, a longtime state senator, defended the Legislature's work. He said he has owned businesses in the state since 1973.
"I believe there's no better place I could have done what I've done," he said. "The taxes are very, very good on farmland-designated properties in West Virginia. I helped do that.
"We have to change our lifestyle in West Virginia. That's one of our biggest problems," Helmick said. "We have a difficult time with the workforce because of nutrition problems."
When asked which presidential candidate's policies would work best for the agriculture industry, Leonhardt quickly backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney. He said Romney's business background and energy plan make him the best pick for farmers
"Agriculture is one of the largest users of energy. That's the biggest issue facing agriculture right now. Prices are going up to feed livestock and everything else," he said.
Helmick declined to state his choice. He said he disagrees with some of President Barack Obama's actions and says policies from the president's Environmental Protection Agency have been too strict.
He would not say if he would vote against the president, however. Helmick said he has never asked anyone who they would vote for, and no one has ever asked him.
"I'm a Democrat and I'll leave it at that," he said.
To watch the full editorial board meeting, visit blogs.dailymail.com/reporterspad.