Republicans Challenge Carl Lewis' NJ Candidacy

Say the ninetime Olympic medalist hasn't lived in state for long enough

By ANGELA DELLI SANTI
|  Monday, Apr 18, 2011  |  Updated 6:44 PM EDT
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Republicans Challenge Carl Lewis' NJ Candidacy

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The GOP says Carl Lewis has voted in California so doesn't meet Jersey residency requirements.

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Republicans have challenged Carl Lewis' state Senate candidacy, saying the nine-time Olympic medalist hasn't lived in New Jersey for the required four years.

Lewis has lived and voted in California until recently, the GOP said.

Lewis said he owns two homes in New Jersey, including one in Medford that was purchased in 2005.

"Doesn't matter," GOP attorney Mark Sheridan said of Lewis's New Jersey addresses. "He's been voting in California. And under California law, that makes him a resident of California. He can't be a resident of New Jersey at the same time."

An administrative law judge will hear the case Tuesday and make recommendations to the Secretary of State. A decision, due Thursday, can be appealed to the appellate division.

The 49-year-old former track star and political novice grew up in Willingboro, N.J., and is a volunteer track coach at the public high school. He said he transferred his voter registration last Monday, the same day he officially declared his candidacy as a Democrat in the state's 8th District.

The GOP filed a complaint to New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno, asking that Lewis' name be pulled from the primary ballot.

Messages were left for Lewis' lawyer and the state Democratic Party. The Office of Administrative Law said Lewis' camp hadn't submitted its legal response by the close of business Monday.

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