Carl Lewis' N.J. State Senate Run Going As Smoothly As His Anthem Singing

The political career of UH's Carl Lewis has, so far, proven to be as successful as his "Star-Spangled Banner"-singing sideline. In other words, not very successful at all.

Lewis, who is trying to run for the state senate from his hometown New Jersey district, has been thrown off the ballot for not meeting residency requirements.

Even worse, he appears to have pissed off New Jersey's notoriously thin-skinned, bombastic and grudge-carrying Republican governor, Chris Christie. Not a good first move if you're dipping your toe into local GOP politics in the Garden State.

Lewis has filed a federal suit challenging his removal from the ballot; a hearing is expected tomorrow.

But the Coog alum still faces a stiff challenge in winning the primary, and now he's got Christie against him.

According to published reports, Christie was one of several big GOP honchos who tried to talk Lewis out of the race.

Lewis then went to the Philadelphia Inquirer and told a reporter that Christie had threatened to cut a youth-sports program Lewis was championing if he didn't drop out.

Lewis was quoted as saying Christie "said, 'If you're going to do this race, we probably don't have time to do this program.' "

Solid move there -- make the governor look like he's toying with kids' lives to play politics.

Bloomberg reports the governor's office didn't take that too well.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, said in an e- mail today that Lewis "has completely misrepresented and inflated the tone and content of his phone call with the governor -- a phone call Lewis himself initiated."

So yeah, good luck in that GOP primary, Carl.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly