Carl Lewis: Christie wanted me out of Senate race

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis says Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped a plan to appoint him the state’s first physical fitness ambassador when he launched a political campaign against a Christie friend.

Lewis said Monday the governor called to dissuade him from running as a Democrat for state Senate in 2011 against Republican Sen. Dawn Addiego (ah-dee-AY’-goh). Lewis says he was told the fitness program they’d been developing wouldn’t materialize if he ran. Lewis says the governor felt the post “was a carrot he could pull away.”

Lewis withdrew from the Senate race after a court ruled he didn’t meet a residency requirement. He now lives in Houston.

Democrats have said recent scandals involving traffic jams and Superstorm Sandy aid are more evidence Christie is a bully.

Christie’s administration hasn’t returned an email seeking comment.

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