LYNCHBURG, Va. -

Running for public office is change of pace for Katie Webb Cyphert.  For the last ten years, she's worked as a public school teacher.

"I've always had two jobs," said Cyphert.  "I worked since I was 14, but this has been pretty busy."

She's not completely new to politics.  Eight years ago she volunteered for a Republican candidate.

Today, she's running for state delegate as a Democrat.

"Over the last few years, seeing the changes in our political spectrum, I feel it's moved a couple of steps to the right," said Cyphert.  "I feel very consistently on the Democratic side of the spectrum."

Cyphert says she's running because she feels her opponent, Kathy Byron, has spent too much time focusing on social issues.

In 2012, Byron sponsored a bill that would have required women to get a transvaginal ultrasound before having an abortion.

"I do not believe that this is a function of my government that my taxpayer resources should be engaged in," Cyphert said.

Byron says her legislation was designed to protect women's health.

"What you have is a bill that made it safer for a woman to have an abortion, and safer for the doctor that is performing the abortion," said Byron.

Since winning her seat in 1997, Byron has fought to expand workforce training and keep the state's tax rates low.

As a member of the tobacco commission, she helped secure a $12-million grant to build Liberty University's new school of medicine.

"That is going to have a lasting effect for generations in regards to not only changing the landscape for the medical community, but also giving students in southside and southwest the opportunity to be able to go to college," Byron said.

If elected to an eighth term, Byron says her legislative seniority will give her power to do more for her district.

Cyphert wants to bring a new voice to Richmond that's focused on economic development, improving the state's roads and infrastructure, and supporting public education.