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Carl Lewis to run for Public Office

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Carl Lewis, a New Jersey resident for the last few years, has announced his intention to run for an NJ senate seat (locally only for Trenton...not the U.S. Senate seat).


So, we've had Bob Mathias, Bob Bradley (also in NJ) run for public office. WHo are the other Olympians who have run for public service once their athletic careers were over?

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Well, off the top of my head, in Australia we've had Ron Clarke become (and still is) the Mayor of the Gold Coast. Marjorie jackson (double gold, one silver at Helsinki) became Governor of South Australia, and John Landy (who also read the athletes oath in '56) became Governor of Victoria. My old neighbour Dawn Fraser also ran for and became an independent MP in the NSW Parliament. I'm sure there'd be more, but those above would surely be amongst our most high-profile.

In terms of national leaders, there's Hungary's Pal Schmitt, who became an IOC member and President of Hungary after winning two gold fencing medals. I can't think of any other national leaders (though our former PM Bob Hawke did win the Oxford Uni beer drinking record - pity that's not an Olympic sport!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I almost forgot about Seb Coe, he was a Tory MP repping, if I recall correctly, the Chelsea area in London.

But Carl Lewis got stopped in his tracks for his NJ state Senate run because he hasn't lived at least the four years of residency required. The decision can be appealed, though.

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  • 4 months later...

Carl Lewis happy to be back on ballot

WESTAMPTON, N.J. -- Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis said he's happy he appears to have beaten the challenge of his bid to run for office in New Jersey.

Lewis said Wednesday he's looking forward to turning his attention away from the partisan politics of the race and focusing on learning the issues and campaigning for the 8th District state Senate seat.

"I'm not running for state Senate because I wanted to become a politician," Lewis said during his first public comments since the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor Tuesday. "I'm running because I wanted to serve."

Republicans claimed that Lewis, a Democrat, was ineligible to run because he didn't meet the state's residency requirement. A months-long legal battle ensued in state and federal courts.

With time running out before November ballots must be sent to the printer to allow for absentee voting, Tuesday's ruling may be the last in the case. However, GOP lawyer Mark Sheridan said the 2-1 ruling by the Philadelphia-based appellate panel would be appealed.

Sheridan acknowledged he would have to act quickly and choose to appeal to the entire 3rd Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court, neither of which agrees to take on most of the appeals made to it.

Lewis, 50, is challenging GOP state Sen. Dawn Addiego in the heavily Republican 8th Legislative District. State officials had taken Lewis' name off the ballot, saying he didn't meet a four-year residency requirement to seek the seat, and both state courts and the U.S. District court sided with them.

However, the 3rd Circuit had put Lewis back on the ballot for the primary in June and restored him again Tuesday for the Nov. 8 general election.

Lewis, who had accused Gov. Chris Christie of orchestrating the fight to keep him off the ballot, on Wednesday said there was nothing personal between him and the governor.

Christie said he wished Lewis luck.

"I'm really not that focused on it or care all that much about it to tell you the truth," Christie said after an education event in the northern part of the state. "It's one of 40 races for the state Senate across the state. I'm not all that worried about it."

Lewis' lawyer, William Tambussi, argued that the residency requirement is meant to ensure that a candidate knows the local issues and the voters know the candidate. He said neither was a problem in the case of Lewis, who grew up in southern New Jersey, went to college in Texas and settled in California. The Olympian also bought homes in New Jersey in 2005 and 2007 but continued to vote in California through 2009.

The appeals panel majority agreed with Tambussi in the ruling issued less than five hours after it heard arguments on Tuesday. The court said a full opinion would be filed later.

After months of legal hair-splitting on exactly when Lewis became a New Jersey resident, the court seemed to indicate that issue was not the heart of the case. Instead, the court said, "the state has failed to demonstrate a compelling state interest" for leaving Lewis off the ballot.

Judges Thomas Vanaskie and Thomas Ambro, who voted Tuesday to put Lewis back on the ballot, were appointed by Democrats. Judge Anthony Scirica, who dissented, is a Republican appointee.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Carl Lewis quits NJ Senate race after court ruling

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis gave up on his race for New Jersey state Senate on Friday, a day after a federal appeals panel removed him from the ballot because he didn't meet a four-year residency requirement.



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I mean, c'mon, Carl you've competed in the Olympics. U know there are rules upon rules, on top of rules, etc.

Something as basic as the required minimum residency period is something you would surely understand. Or not? :blink:

If he was patient, he could try again in the next round.

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