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NJ Gym Owner Ian Smith Who Defied COVID-19 Lockdown Running for Congress

The owner of a New Jersey gym who defied Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 lockdown orders is mounting a run for Congress.

Ian Smith, the co-owner of the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, announced via Twitter that his first campaign event would take place Thursday evening. Smith is running in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, attempting to unseat incumbent Democrat Andy Kim, who was first elected to Congress in 2018.

Smith originally announced his intention to run for Congress on Sunday. “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.

“People, not politicians. For too long, good people have not gotten involved in politics — whether that is because the establishment won’t open the door for them or they don’t want to participate in the foul world of politics. More than anything, this needs to change. And I will be a part of that change,” Smith said in an Instagram post accompanying the announcement.

“Our public officials have forgotten who they work for. Working in politics is about SERVICE, not about profit. It’s not a career, it’s a duty. Together we are going to change the culture of politics. More ordinary citizens. Less career politicians. It starts in 2022.”

Smith and co-owner Frank Trumbetti made national headlines in May 2020 for refusing to close Atilis after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a statewide shutdown order on “non-essential” businesses. Smith and Trumbetti were both arrested in July for defying the order and received dozens of municipal citations for keeping the gym in operation. The gym was also subjected to daily fines, and the state of New Jersey seized $173,000 raised by the gym for its legal defense. Atilis also had its business license revoked by the Borough Council of Bellmawr.

This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.


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