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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A three-judge federal appeals court panel is considering whether Olympic runner and Willingboro native Carl Lewis should stay on the ballot for New Jersey state senate.

Democrats chose Lewis as their nominee for the eighth district seat in June’s primary but the republican lt. governor and the Burlington County Republican Party have gone through a series of legal moves to keep him off the November ballot. Their argument is that, since Lewis voted absentee in an election in California, where he used to live, he negated his New Jersey residency.

Lewis’s attorney Bill Tambussi explains, “He voted absentee in 2009 frankly, because a friend of his was running for congress from California.”

Tambussi says that vote does not change the fact that Lewis is a resident of South Jersey and denying him his ballot spot would deny voters of their constitutional choice of candidates.

An attorney for the Republicans declined comment.

No word on when the decision may come down, but county officials have put off printing the ballots for another day.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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