Gym owner Ian Smith, who made headlines for refusing to comply with NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID lockdowns, is running for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. Smith says his campaign will focus on “liberty, small government, and America First policies.”

Smith shared the announcement via his social media channels.

“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 on Instagram. “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.”

Back in May 2020, Smith and gym co-owner Frank Trumbetti were arrested for defying New Jersey’s COVID lockdown order for “non-essential” businesses. Last week, Smith and Trumbetti had their hearing and received one year of probation.

“We were sentenced to a one year term of probation with minimal fines. This is not the outcome we wanted. We are going to have to take this day by day. We do not trust the state and we do not trust Governor Murphy to act in the best interest of the public and we are fully aware from Governor Murphy’s past actions that he has a personal issue with us and [Atilis]. Nonetheless, we return back to work and we return back to fighting the cases that matter.”

Smith will run to try and unseat Democrat incumbent Rep. Andy Kim.

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