CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – The same three judge federal appeals panel that last week put former Olympian Carl Lewis back on a New Jersey state Senate ballot has now removed him, perhaps for good, over the state’s four-year residency requirement for candidates to that office.
The ten-page opinion found 1.) that Lewis can’t legally reside in two states at once (New Jersey and California in this case) and 2.) the residency requirement applies to him as much as anyone else.
Lewis’s lawyer, William Tambussi, in an e-mail, says, “It is unfortunate that the voters of the Eighth Legislative District are being denied a meaningful choice in this election by today’s decision. The extreme measures taken by the Republican Party to keep Carl Lewis off the ballot truly do a disservice to the voters.” He later indicated they’re considering all legal options.
Burlington County Republicans are saying, in effect, we told you so.
Party spokesman Chris Russell tells KYW Newsradio, “Carl Lewis clearly did not meet the official residency requirement to run for senate and, in spite of his celebrity status, has to play by the same rules that everyone else has to play by.”
The same court order now permits ballots to be printed without Lewis’s name, which presents a problem for Democrats, who might want to insert a replacement, should Lewis concede to the courts. The deadline has passed for that, although late entrants have been permitted to run in the past.
Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060