April 26, 2011 / 10:23 PM / 9 years ago

New Jersey official rules Carl Lewis cannot run for office

Olympic Gold Medallist Carl Lewis attends the Qatar Masters Golf Tournament in Doha January 26,2008. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - New Jersey’s Secretary of State ruled on Tuesday that Olympic track star Carl Lewis cannot run for state Senate because he did not met the legal requirement that he has lived in the state for four years.

Lewis, 49, winner of nine Olympic gold medals, announced earlier this month he wanted to run in the June 7 Democratic primary and challenge Republican Senator Dawn Addiego in Burlington County, about 25 miles east of Philadelphia.

Secretary of State Kimberly Guadagno, a Republican, ruled that Lewis failed to meet the four-year residency requirement set out by the state constitution.

As of “the four-year constitutional cut-off (Lewis) did not yet own his home in New Jersey, did not otherwise live in New Jersey, did not file his taxes in New Jersey, was not registered to vote in New Jersey and did not have his business in New Jersey,” she said in a statement.

Earlier, a state administrative judge had said Lewis could run.

Lewis’s attorney William Tambussi said he would appeal Guadagno’s ruling on Wednesday with the appellate division of the State Superior Court.

Lewis is considered one of the best U.S. track and field athletes in history. He won Olympic gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and sprint relay.

Reporting by Dave Warner, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Bohan

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