MT. HOLLY, N.J. (CBS) – Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is running in a new race — this one for a seat in the New Jersey state senate.

Lewis is running as a Democrat for the 8th District state senate seat in Burlington County.

The 49-year-old Willingboro native, who won nine Olympic gold medals, admits that politics is a completely new kind of race for him.

“It’s going to take a lot of work.  It’s something I’ve never done before.  So it isn’t like I’m jumping into waters that I’m used to,” he said today.  “But you know what?  I’m a fast learner.  I may not run as fast as I used to, but I think I still learn as fast.”

State Senate president Steve Sweeney was by Lewis’ side as he made the announcement at the old county courthouse.

“Carl Lewis doesn’t lose races.  He’s not going to lose this one,” said Sweeney.

And Sweeney says that even though the 8th District seat has been held by Republicans for more than a decade, a new redistricting map makes it competitive for Democrats.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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