The campaign of Ian Smith, a Republican candidate in the 3rd congressional district who was arrested early Sunday morning on charges of driving under the influence after refusing a breathalyzer test, demanded this morning that the Cinnaminson Police Department release any body camera footage of the incident.
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“Being charged with an offense and actually committing an offense are two entirely different things,” Smith campaign consultant Steve Kush said in a statement. “Ian Smith was not driving drunk. Ian Smith is innocent. Body cam footage will show Ian passed a field sobriety test. The Cinnaminson police department should immediately release the body cam footage to every news outlet immediately.”
Today’s statement also escalated the Smith campaign’s implication that the original arrest only occurred because Smith has made a number of political enemies, and said Smith rejected the breathalyzer test out of a fear he was being set up.
“I immediately wondered why Ian was pulled over in the first place.” Kush said. “The governor obviously hates him! Establishment politicians don’t want him. Andy Kim and the Democrats continuously send emails using Ian’s name to raise money… Ian has a distrust of government in New Jersey after being persecuted by the Governor and government agencies for two years.”
Notably, this isn’t the first time Smith has been arrested for drunk and reckless driving. When he was 20, Smith was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to five years in prison after rolling through a stop sign and killing 19-year-old Kevin Ade, an incident which he said has shaped his worldview since his release.
A gym owner in Bellmawr, Smith achieved notoriety early in the pandemic when he refused to shut his business in accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Covid restrictions, a move which incurred massive legal fees and skyrocketed him to fame among national anti-lockdown activists.
In early February, Smith launched a congressional bid for the 3rd congressional district, where he will face party-endorsed Republican Bob Healey Jr. and, if he wins the primary, Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown). Smith did not compete for any Republican county party endorsement, arguing that the political establishments in both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed.
Without the county lines, Smith will be relying on a huge first quarter fundraising report to demonstrate his campaign’s viability.
This story was updated at 10:32 a.m. with details about Smith’s previous conviction for vehicular homicide.