Smith leaves the GOP, joins Libertarian Party after NJ-03 primary loss

Smith leaves the GOP, joins Libertarian Party after NJ-03 primary loss

Ex-Atilis Gym co-owner and former NJ-03 GOP candidate Ian Smith is done with the Republican Party, Save Jerseyans.

On Monday, the activist-turned-politician best known for defying Governor Murphy’s draconian Covid orders during the pandemic lockdown phase announced on Twitter that he’s officially left the GOP to become a Libertarian.

“Now it’s official,” tweeted Smith. “The change we are looking for starts with the individual and pours out into our families and our communities. There is work to be done.”

Smith lost a congressional primary bid earlier this month to Bob Healey, CEO of Viking Yacht and a former punk rocker. Once considered a potentially competitive contest, Healey finished in first place by 14.5-points. Smith was plagued throughout the primary season by surprisingly weak fundraising (given his past demonstrated grassroots appeal) and, perhaps most damaging of all, his second lifetime DWI charge.