Court Rules Carl Lewis is Ineligible (For Now)

3 May

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A New Jersey court ruled Olympic great Carl Lewis is not eligible to run for the New Jersey state senate, ruling Monday that the secretary of state was correct in declaring that Lewis did not meet a residency requirement.

Lewis is a nine-time Olympic gold medalist who has a home in Medford, NJ, a town not far from where he grew up. He helps coach the track team at Willingboro High School. But Lewis also owns a home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., a business in Los Angeles and didn’t register to vote in New Jersey until the day he announced his candidacy.

Lewis, “Fastest Human Alive” universally loved, is running as a Democrat in a solidly Republican district.

Last month, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno — who also serves as secretary of state — ruled he was ineligible, because New Jersey law requires that candidates live in the state for four years.

Lewis appealed in both federal and state courts.

Last week, a federal judge found that the state residence requirement is constitutional. Lewis has now appealed that ruling to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Monday, a three-member state appellate court also sided with the lieutenant governor.

Bill Tambussi, a lawyer for Lewis, said politics were at play throughout the process. He said he would appeal the latest ruling to the state’s Supreme Court.

“Today’s decision sets a dangerous precedent. It allows a partisan political player to disregard facts and select the candidates of the opposing political party,” Tambussi said in a statement. “Carl Lewis has satisfied the residency requirements and the voters should have the right to decide the merits of his candidacy.“

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