Fox News-hyped New Jersey gym owner gets crushed by yacht-building rival in GOP primary
Ian Smith (Getty Images)

On Wednesday, reported that Ian Smith, a New Jersey gym owner who became a star on Fox News for illegally defying COVID-19 lockdown rules, lost his bid for Congress in last night's Republican primary.

Smith had also caused controversy in March for telling a police officer about his congressional run to try to get out of a DUI arrest.

"Gyms, casinos, and movie theaters were ordered to shut in March 2020 as the virus first spread, but Ian Smith, co-owner of the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, reopened the establishment in May and then defied arrest and fines in a losing battle to keep it open," noted the Daily Beast's Phillippe Naughton. "Smith was handily beaten by businessman Bob Healey in the Republican primary for New Jersey’s 3rd District, with Healey taking 53 percent to Smith’s 28 percent."

Smith became a Trump fan favorite, appearing on Fox News and offering free gym memberships to people who refused to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

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Healey, meanwhile, is best known for running a family yacht manufacturing business, the Viking Yacht Company, which he took over from his late father.

He will now go on to face Democratic Rep. Andy Kim, who was first elected in 2018 in a surprise upset against a Republican lawmaker who played a key role in trying to pass repeal of the Affordable Care Act.