Gym Owner Who Defied New Jersey’s COVID-19 Lockdowns Says He’s Running For Congress

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Mecca Fowler Contributor
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Ian Smith, who refused to shut down his Bellmawr, New Jersey, gym in 2020 despite the state’s lockdown orders, announced Sunday that he is running for Congress.

Smith is aiming to unseat representative Andy Kim in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district, his announcement said.

“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,” he said in a tweet(RELATED: New Jersey Gym Owner Fined $1.2 Million For Defying COVID-19 Lockdowns Vows Not To Pay)

Smith and his business partner Frank Trumbetti refused to close Atilis Gym in defiance of New Jersey’s COVID-19 safety protocols, according to Fox 29. The pair were arrested in July 2020 for refusing to comply with the restrictions, CNBC reported.

Overall, the owners were fined approximately $1.2 million dollars but told the Daily Caller News Foundation at the time that they do not plan to pay it.

Smith received backlash after some people brought up that he was sentenced to five and a half years in jail for vehicular homicide in 2007 after a fatal drunk driving crash, according to the New York Post.

He addressed the controversy and took responsibility for the accident in a May 2020 Instagram video.