VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Democrat Missy Cotter Smasal has announced a run for Virginia’s Second Congressional District seat, currently held by Republican Jen Kiggans.

Cotter Smasal, a Navy veteran, says her campaign will emphasize “standing up for Coastal Virginia’s families, military, and veterans,” saying she was compelled to run because Kiggans “promised to stand up for Coastal Virginia and focus on military families and veterans, has not done so.”

“She voted to cut veterans’ health benefits and then lied about it. Virginia’s veterans deserve a member of Congress who will honor our promises, not ones, like Kiggans, who vote to take away their benefits, threaten military readiness, and use servicemembers as political leverage.”

In response to Cotter Smasal’s announcement, the National Republican Congressional Committee shared this statement through spokeswoman Delanie Bomar: “Missy Cotter Smasal is an extreme Democrat with a losing record who is the wrong fit for this district. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans is delivering support for service members’ mental health and fighting to preserve Medicare and Social Security.”

Cotter Smasal isn’t new to the political scene. She ran against state Sen. Bill DeSteph back in 2019 in Virginia Beach, losing that race by about 2,400 votes, 52.11% to 47.75%.

She currently serves as the Virginia citizen representative on the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the executive director for Valor Run, a local non-profit that hosts running events to honor U.S. military women, and is an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University.

The election for the District 2 seat will take place next fall.