Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno today refused to certify Olympian Carl Lewis as a candidate for state Senate in LD8, according to a letter to local county clerks filed in federal court.
The lieutenant governor said a federal appeals court order allowing Lewis to be a candidate applied to the June Democratic primary and not the November general election.
In the meantime, U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman this evening ordered that the parties in the Lewis case appear for a hearing on Friday at 2 p.m.
This is a hearing on whether Lewis, a Democrat, is fit to run for office based on his residency, complicated now by Guadagno’s letter.
Guadagno said it’s not happening.
“Although the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ordered Mr. Lewis’ name to appear on the primary ballot, that order was carefully circumscribed and limited only to the primary ballot – the sole issue before the Third Circuit at the time of its order,” Guadagno wrote in a letter to Hillman.
“To date, and absent a decision of a court to the contrary, Mr. Lewis has not met the four-year residency requirement,” she added. “As such, I cannot certify Mr Lewis…”
The Lewis team vowed to fight on.
“The Secretary of State again seeks to deny the voters of the Eighth Legislative District a choice,” said Lewis attorney William Tambussi. “This eleventh hour, unilateral political tactic is further evidence of the Secretary of State’s utter disregard of the facts, United States Constitution and the Third Circuit Order that Carl Lewis remain on the ballot. Mr. Lewis’ position from the outset has been and remains that the election should be in the hands of the voters and not a political actor.”