Carl Lewis, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist, said he’s ending his bid for the New Jersey state Senate, a day after a federal appeals court stripped his name from the ballot.
“I let the spirit move me into this and now I’m going to move from there,” he told reporters today in Mount Laurel. “I think the average person is a little frustrated with politics.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia yesterday reversed an earlier decision and barred Lewis, a 50-year-old Democrat, from the race. Lewis said he has no plans to seek any other elected office.
At issue was whether Lewis met New Jersey’s four-year residency requirement for the Senate. Secretary of State Kim Guadagno, a Republican who is also lieutenant governor, in April said Lewis didn’t meet the threshold, which triggered the legal fight.
Guadagno said that while Lewis purchased a New Jersey home four days prior to the cutoff on Nov. 16, 2007, he voted in California in 2008 and 2009 and paid income taxes there in 2008, disqualifying him.
Lewis, who represented the U.S. in track and field events, had sought to represent New Jersey’s 8th District, held by Republican Dawn Marie Addiego of Medford. His exit from the race leaves the Democratic Party with no candidate on the ballot.
Lewis said another political campaign would be a distraction from his charity work, product endorsements and promoting physical fitness. The Carl Lewis Foundation helps the College Fund and promotes organ donation, according to the website of the Harry Walker Agency, his speaker’s bureau.
“I won nine gold medals, Lewis said. ‘‘I’m olympian of the century. I’m a UN ambassador.”