Carl Lewis can’t run, N.J. official says

Posted: April 26, 2011

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who also serves as secretary of state, ruled today that nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis could not run for New Jersey State Senate in Burlington County because he does not meet the state's constitutional residency requirement.

"I conclude that there is substantial credible evidence to find that respondent (Lewis) has not met the constitutional residency requirement to qualify him as a candidate for the office of state Senate and, therefore, the initial decision of the ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) is rejected."

Last Wednesday, an administrative law judge dismissed the Republican Party's complaint that Lewis had failed the state's residency test for candidates.

The state constitution requires Senate candidates to have lived in New Jersey for four years.

But Judge John Schuster 3d ruled that even though Lewis had admitted voting in California in 2009, the Republicans had not proved their case and recommended that Lewis be allowed to remain in the race. Lewis registered to vote in New Jersey on April 11, the day he announced his candidacy.

Lewis testified at a residency hearing that he intended to make New Jersey his home when he purchased a condo in Mount Laurel in 2005. He then bought a home in Medford in 2007. He has had a New Jersey driver's license since 2006 and has been a volunteer track coach since 2007 at his alma mater, Willingboro High School.

But the track star owned a home in Pacific Palisades, Calif.; voted there, and housed a business there.

As secretary of state and overseer of elections, Guadagno was called upon to sort out these apparent contradictions.

Either side can appeal her ruling in court, but it could not be immediately determined what the Democrats planned to do.

Lewis, 49, announced April 11 that he intended to run against incumbent Republican Dawn Marie Addiego, a former Burlington County freeholder and Evesham councilwoman. Neither faced a primary challenger in the Eighth District race.


Contact Cynthia Burton at 856-779-3858 or cburton@phillynews.com.

|
|
|
|
|