Carl Lewis Can't Run for New Jersey State Senate
He will appeal decision that he doesn't meet residency requirements
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2011 5:53 PM CDT
Former Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis wants to be a state senator in New Jersey.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – New Jersey won't let a favorite son run for state office. The lieutenant governor ruled today that Carl Lewis, who has nine Olympic gold medals on his mantle, doesn't meet the four-year residency requirement to run for a state Senate seat, reports the Star-Ledger. The 49-year-old Lewis plans to appeal. "The lieutenant governor has her facts wrong," says his attorney.

Lewis grew up in Jersey and has owned homes there since 2005, reports AP. He also has a state driver's license and volunteers as a track coach in his hometown of Willingboro. But he also has a home and business offices in California, and he voted there as recently as 2009, prompting Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to declare that state to be his legal home. Guadagno is a Republican, and Lewis a Democrat. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer this week that Gov. Chris Christie tried to bully him out of running by threatening to cut a physical fitness program Lewis wants to start. Christie's office called Lewis accusation "silly."