By ROBERT LINNEHAN
Former Olympian Carl Lewis is going to attempt to make the transition from athlete to state senator as he announced his candidacy for the Democratic state Senate nomination in the Eighth District.
The Eighth District is currently represented by Republican Senator Dawn Marie Addiego. Evesham Township is included in the eighth district. The senate seat will be on the November ballot for the general elections.
The nine-time Olympic gold medalist, who was named “Olympian of the (20th) Century,” declared his candidacy today for the Democratic State Senate nomination in the eighth district. Lewis advanced his agenda for reform, including an end to “a culture of mediocrity” in the state’s educational system. He also said he was determined to promote a new environment of civility and bi-partisanship in New Jersey politics.
“South Jersey is where I grew up and learned what matters — that hard work, family values and commitment to others can make a difference,” Lewis said, whose family moved to Willingboro when he was two years old. “I’m proud of where I came from, proud to be back, and ready to step up to serve the taxpayers of this great state that afforded me so many wonderful opportunities. This is my chance to give back to my community, the South Jersey region and the entire state that has meant so much to me.”
Lewis said he is running because of a passion to improve the quality of life for New Jersey’s families. He said he will champion reforms that make the state a more affordable place to live and work, while raising the standards of New Jersey’s schools, infrastructure and other public services.
Adiego’s campaign spokesman Chris Russell said Lewis was once one of the world’s greatest athletes, but after his press conference today little is known about the candidate.
“Mr. Lewis refused to answer reporters’ questions about where he stands on the important issues facing New Jersey residents or explain how he would begin to defend the failed record of Trenton Democrats when it comes to our struggling economy, reckless spending, runaway debt or sky-high taxes,” Russell said. “Senator Addiego has a proven record as a strong fiscal conservative in the legislature, and she looks forward to a spirited campaign against Mr. Lewis once he acclimates himself to the issues facing our State and is ready to speak publicly about his plans to solve the problems his party created in Trenton.”