Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

2020 was a crazy year full of corruption, fear, and draconian mandates that most Americans never saw coming. It led many to make risky decisions and defy lockdown orders. This is exactly what happened with the New Jersey gym owner Ian Smith. Smith and his business partner, Frank Trumbetti, made the painful decision to reopen their local gym, even though the government had mandated against it. 

According to the Atilis Gym website, the gym has faced an insane amount of adversity from the government on many levels. The gym racked up fines of $15,497.76 for every day they remained open in defiance of the governor’s orders. Eventually, both owners were arrested after refusing to leave their gym when the police came to board it up. Even worse than that, their LLC veil was pierced, and $173,000 was taken out of the owners’ personal bank accounts. They have continued to fight battle after battle for over two years now, and their actions make it clear they won’t be backing down. 

A few days ago, one of the owners of Atilis Gym, Ian Smith made an announcement on Twitter that he will be running for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. Ian Smith has been very outspoken against the Covid-19 mandates that have taken place across the country, using his personal social media accounts as a platform. 

Smith took to Twitter on Monday to say: “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.” 

According to Smith’s campaign website, he wants to run on a platform of “people, not politicians.” Although not much else is known about his opinions on policy, it seems he will be running on a pro-freedom platform. Currently, the district is represented by D- Andy Kim who will be running for re-election in 2022. Time will tell, but this is definitely a race to keep an eye on as the midterms approach.