Olympic runner Carl Lewis removed from NJ Senate ballot... again

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August 17, 2011

New Jersey

By David Godow

Gold medal winning track and field star Carl Lewis's run for New Jersey Senate has been the gift to political journalists that keeps on giving this election season. Efforts by state Republicans to keep Lewis off the June 7 primary ballot due to residency concerns were reversed by a federal court after repeated spats in April, May, and June. Even after a spring full of litigation, it appears the problem is not nearly over; Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, a Republican, ordered Lewis off the ballot again on Tuesday, arguing that he has failed to establish New Jersey residency.

Although Lewis was permitted to run in the primary by the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Guadagno argued that the 3rd Circuit's order was "carefully circumscribed and limited only to the primary ballot."[1] By Guadagno's reasoning, Lewis's court protection "expired" with the passing of the June 7 primary, allowing her to once again pull him off the candidate rolls.

Lewis's legal team has promised to seek court help once more; a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman is scheduled for Friday, according to his lawyer. Hillman previously ruled against Lewis during the court fight over the primary ballot, but was ultimately overruled by the federal 3rd Circuit. Though Hillman has not given any indication of how he will rule this time around, without further help from the appellate level Lewis's campaign may have encountered a hurdle it can't quite jump.

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