A panel of state appellate court judges this afternoon upheld Secretary of State Kim Guadagno’s decision to remove Carl Lewis from the 8th District ballot.
Judges Carchman, Graves and Messano received the appeal seeking relief from Lewis’s attorneys following Guadagno’s decision last week.
At issue was Lewis’s residency.
“Considering the totality of all of the evidence presented as to domicile and our limited review function, we conclude that the secretary’s decision was supported by adequate evidence in the record that appeallant was not domiciled in New Jersey for the past four years,” the judges concluded.
Left to appeal in U.S. Supreme Court, while in the meantime hanging their hopes on a 3rd District Court appeal they filed in federal court last Thursday and with this coming Friday the deadline to get their client on the ballot as a Democratic canddiate for state senate, Lewis’s attorneys expressed their disappointment.
“Today’s decision sets a dangerous precedent. It allows a partisan political player to disregard facts and select the candidates of the opposing political party,” said a disappointed William Tambussi, attorney for Lewis.
“Carl Lewis has satisfied the residency requirements and the voters should have the right to decide the merits of his candidacy. We will appeal today’s decision to the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
On the other side of the issue, Burlington County Republican campaign consultant Chris Russell naturally applauded the State Appellate Court decision today upholding Secretary of State Guadagno’s decision to bar Lewis.
“We are pleased that the state appellate court today upheld Secretary of State Guadagno’s decision to disqualify Mr. Lewis from the ballot for clearly not meeting the state constitution’s 4-year residency requirement,” said Russell. “As he admitted under oath, Mr. Lewis voted in California as recently as May 2009 and, by virtue of doing so, swore that he was a resident of California less than two years ago. Given those facts, I don’t see how Mr. Lewis can credibly argue that he qualifies as a New Jersey resident for four years; and based on their decision today neither could the appellate court.”