- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The latest fallout in the New Jersey road-closing scandal that’s hit hard at Chris Christie is that Olympian Carl Lewis — a record-setting sprinter who won nine gold medals in track and field — claims the governor frustrated his political aspirations to protect a friend.

Mr. Lewis said in The Daily Mail that he was planning to run as a Democrat for the state Senate. But then-attorney general Kim Guadagno, who now serves as Mr. Christie’s lieutenant governor, said Mr. Lewis didn’t meet the residency requirements to run — that he hadn’t lived long enough in the state.

Mr. Lewis suggested that ruling came because he was planning to contest a friend and ally of Mr. Christie‘s, the Republican state Sen. Dawn Addiego, The Daily Mail reported.

Mr. Lewis‘ tale of woe has already been told in New Jersey, but the ex-sprinter came forward on Monday to add this to his claim: He said Mr. Christie tried to push him out the Senate race by threatening to dash his role as physical fitness ambassador for the state — the first to serve in that capacity in New Jersey, The Daily Mail reported. Mr. Christie ultimately did just that, after Mr. Lewis sued Ms. Guadagno over her ruling in court.

“I felt like he was trying to intimidate me, absolutely,” Mr. Lewis said, to the Star-Ledger in Newark. “But I definitely didn’t feel intimidated. It’s interesting, everyone calling him a bully. I don’t really see him as a bully. I see it more as someone who’s insecure, and he’s governor now and has got the power.”

A judge ultimately ruled in Mr. Lewis‘ favor, finding that the athlete did in fact meet the legal requirements for running for the Senate seat. But Ms. Guadagno overturned that ruling, The Daily Mail reported.

Mr. Christie is embroiled in a scandal that alleges his aides and political appointees took political revenge on the Fort Lee mayor by closing lanes of a well traveled bridge for four days, backing up traffic. The revenge plot was alleged to have occurred in response to the mayor’s failure to support Mr. Christie for re-election.

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