The on again, off again campaign of Carl Lewis for a state senate seat in the Eight Legislative District of New Jersey may finally be off for good.
According to the Associated Press, a three-judge panel in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 22 allowed the printing of the ballots without Lewis’ name to proceed.
Lewis withdrew from the race the following day, giving up any further legal challenge. According to the Associated Press, Lewis said he will remain involved in Democratic campaigns and charity work.
“Service does not need a title,” Lewis said.
At issue was whether Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, met the state’s residency requirements for the state. The AP reported that Lewis, 50, was born in Willingboro, N.J. went to college in Texas and lived in California, but purchased New Jersey homes in 2005 and 2007. He also volunteered as a track coach at Willingboro High School. Despite these connections, he paid taxes and voted in California as recently as 2009. He registered to vote in New Jersey when he registered as a candidate.
Lewis, who ran as a Democrat, was originally removed from the ballot by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a Republican, because she determined he did not meet the state’s four-year residency requirement. Lewis contested the decision in court and was returned to candidate status earlier in September, based on a partial decision from the Court of Appeals.
According to the AP, Burlington County, N.J. Republicans asked the full membership of the 3rd Circuit to take up their appeal of the Sept. 13 ruling, but received a review only from the same three-judge panel. After the appeal hearing, the panel issued a complete ruling reversing their earlier order and removing Lewis from the ballot.