Politics /

Famous Anti-Shutdown Gym Owner in New Jersey Announces Run for Congress


A gym owner in New Jersey who went viral for refusing to shut down his business during the pandemic will run for Congress in the 2022 midterms this week with a platform promoting “liberty, small government, and America First policies,” he said.

“This Thursday 2/3 I’ll be formally announcing my campaign for Congress in NJ CD-3 against @AndyKimNJ. 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,” posted Ian Smith on Twitter.

“The long-bearded, heavily tattooed owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr became the public face of opposition to [Governor] Murphy’s mandate to close fitness centers in March 2020, reopening his business in May 2020 in defiance of the state before Department of Health officials shut it down,” reports the New Jersey Globe.

“Smith will become the second Republican to enter the race against Kim, a straight-laced, low-key former Obama White House staffer who ousted an incumbent in the 2018 mid-term elections. Kim has over $3.3 million in his campaign warchest in a district that became substantially more Democratic than the one he now represents,” adds the newspaper.

Read the full report here.

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