CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Former Olympian Carl Lewis has lost round one in his legal battle to get back on the New Jersey primary ballot as a state senate candidate in Burlington County.

William Tambussi

After a three-hour hearing at the federal courthouse, judge Noel Hillman determined Lewis would not be irreparably harmed and that there were state interests, along with judicial precedent, to support a four-year residency rule that’s been the law in New Jersey for 167 years.

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Lewis’s attorney, William Tambussi, plans to appeal this decision to the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

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“The issue is, really, whether or not Judge Hilllman is, in fact bound by the precedent in New Hampshire, which we say he is not.”

That state mandates seven years residency before running for state senate. Tambussi has a second route of appeal filed with New Jersey Superior Court based in large part on how Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno interpreted state law in kicking Lewis off the ballot earlier this week.

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Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio