Lewis tossed off ballot — again

Posted: August 16, 2011

Carl Lewis' candidacy for New Jersey Senate was dealt another blow Tuesday when the secretary of state struck his name from the ballot.

A federal judge can reverse the decision, and a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a Republican who also serves as secretary of state, was required to certify candidates for the ballot by Monday.

Although Lewis, 50, of Medford, won the Democratic nomination for state Senate in Burlington County's Eighth Legislative District last spring, Guadagno declined to certify him. She said that the Olympic track star, who voted as recently as 2009 in California elections, did not meet the state's four-year residency requirement to run.

His opponent would be incumbent Republican Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego.

Both sides have been waiting for a final ruling on the ballot issue from U.S. District Court Judge Noel L. Hillman. A federal appeals court in May ordered that Lewis' name remain on the ballot until Hillman ruled.

But Guadagno, in a letter to Hillman on Monday, said that the ruling from the federal appeals court applied only to the primary ballot.

Guadagno could have certified Lewis' candidacy and waited to see how Hillman ruled. Instead, she decided that Lewis should remain off the ballot unless the judge tells her that Lewis is qualified.

"What she did yesterday was reaffirm her earlier decision," said Guadagno spokesman Fred Snowflack. "Her position remains that he did not meet the residency requirements."

Lewis' lawyer, William Tambussi, called it an "eleventh hour, unilateral political tactic."

"This is nothing short of a brazen attempt to dictate the result of the election," Tambussi said.

He asked Hillman for an emergency hearing, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.

Contact staff writer Joelle Farrell at jfarrell@phillynews.com, 856-779-3237 or @joellefarrell on Twitter.

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