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Carl Lewis senate bid hits another hurdle

GLENN TOWNES Special to the AmNews | 9/21/2011, 1:21 p.m.

Former Olympic track star Carl Lewis has lost his stride in his effort to land a spot in the New Jersey State Senate. A federal judicial panel in Philadelphia on Tuesday agreed to consider a request to rescind a ruling it made last week regarding the former Olympian's eligibility for state office.

By all accounts, the ruling handed down last Tuesday appeared to be the last and final word regarding Lewis' eligibility to run for a senate seat in the Garden State. However, an announcement early this Tuesday morning by the judicial committee puts Lewis' bid for the seat in limbo-again.

For the past several months, Republican Lt. Gov., Kim Guadagno has denied Lewis' efforts to seek office, claiming he did not meet state residency requirements and was therefore ineligible. Guadagno and other state Republicans argued that Lewis was a resident of California and not of New Jersey. Lewis has acknowledged that he owned homes in both California and New Jersey.

Lewis, 49, is seeking a seat in south central New Jersey's 8th Legislative District. If the appeals court's most recent decision remains intact, Lewis will remain on the November ballot, facing Republican incumbent Dawn Addiego.

The popular former track star won gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters, long jump and 400-meter relay at the 1984 Olympics, and garnered awards at the 1988 Olympics and the 1992 games.