Carl Lewis can’t run for Senate: officialTRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey’s top election official ruled Tuesday that nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is ineligible to run for state Senate because he failed to meet the four-year state residency requirement for candidates seeking elected office.
Secretary of State Kim Guadagno ordered Lewis’ name to be stricken from the June Democratic primary ballot.
“I find that respondent was not a resident of New Jersey for the constitutionally required four years prior to the date of the election for the office he now seeks,” Guadagno said at the end of a 15-page opinion.
Guadagno, who is also New Jersey’s lieutenant governor under Gov. Chris Christie, noted that Lewis said he paid income taxes in California, was registered to vote there until recently and has business offices there. He owns a home in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Lewis said the ruling would be challenged. The former track star had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Christie tried to talk him out of running.
“What’s really clear to me, is that first the governor called and tried to talk me out of my race, now he’s trying to use his power to do it,” Lewis said. “I didn’t realize I was going to be running against the gov in my 8th District race.”
Lewis said it seemed as if the governor pressured his lieutenant governor to rule against him.
“I’ve been in competition for a long time so nothing surprises me,” he said.