JUST IN: Gym Owner Who Defied COVID Closures in NJ Running for Congress on ‘America First’ Agenda

Ian Smith, owner of New Jersey’s Atilis Gym, is running for congress in hopes of unseating Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ). Smith rose to notoriety during the COVID lockdowns, defying Governor Phil Murphy’s orders —Smith was arrested for fourth-degree contempt and obstruction and for violating the disaster control act.

“I am truly excited to have the possibility to serve the people of NJ with a platform focused on liberty, small government, and America First policies,” Smith wrote on Twitter.

While Smith is excited over the prospect of serving his country, he knows his history will come up.

According to the Hill, “Smith was sentenced to more than five years in prison in 2007 after driving drunk and killing a 19-year-old, according to NJ.com. He was sentenced when he was 20 years old.

In a video about that accident, posted to Instagram in 2020, Smith said: “What we stand for is far bigger than me. I understand people’s resentment and hatred towards me. All I ask is you listen to the details and make your decision based off of that.”