CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The race to succeed Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2025 is starting early.

7th District Rep. Abigail Spanberger believes she is the better Democratic candidate over Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

"I'm the best candidate for the Democratic nomination because I have a strong body of work, I have real laws that I have put in place that are directly responsive to the needs of people across the 7th district and the Commonwealth of Virginia," she said.

Spanberger may be in the early days of her gubernatorial campaign, but she says she's a seasoned competitor.

"I've only ever won large expansive difficult races," she said.

She says in her trips out of the 7th District, Virginians mostly talk to her about public schools.

"Parents telling me the stories of the challenges that their kids have faced. Issues of behavioral health impacting our kids, challenges of school administrators and educators as we face a problem that impact so many states across the country which is recruiting teachers and retaining teachers,” she said.

A mother to three school-aged girls, Spanberger said she shares the same concerns.

"We're also ranked 49th in the country for what we spend per pupil in our public schools," she said.

She said while there may not be a need to increase taxes, the way money is allocated needs to change.

“Every dollar that we invest in our public school education right now is an investment in growing our economy, in attracting businesses," she said.

Spanberger said education is directly correlated to infrastructure, her second major priority.

"Like broadband connectivity or roads and bridges so you can connect to digital resources and not spend days and days of your life on the roads. Ensuring that anyone wants to start or build a business, small, medium or large, can do that here,” she said.