Carl Lewis Running for New Jersey Senate

The former Olympic great will challenge Sen. Dawn Addiego in the 8th legislative district.

Posted: 04/11/2011 04:35 PM EDT

Former nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is gearing up for one more race.  

The 49-year-old is running for Senate in the state of New Jersey as a Democrat in the 8th legislative district. He’s set to challenge Republican incumbent Sen. Dawn Addiego in the November elections.

"It's time to change the political discourse in New Jersey and around the country," Lewis said in a statement. "The people are fed up with their elected officials playing the blame game and treating their political counterparts as enemies."

Lewis grew up in Willingboro and purchased a home in the state of New Jersey in 2005, re-establishing his residency.

Voted “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, Lewis is arguably the greatest track and field athlete of all time. Following his retirement from the sport in 1997, Lewis turned to Hollywood and appeared in a handful of movies.

Before the media had a chance to ask questions, Lewis bolted, explaining that he had to get to track practice at Willingboro High School, where he serves as a volunteer track coach.

"My focus will be on children, on the future," Lewis added. "We cannot rest until we make sure that our families can afford to live and raise their kids here, that our seniors can remain in their homes and afford their health and pharmaceutical costs."

Lewis has a lot to prove to voters between now and November. He was essentially hand picked by New Jersey Democrats in order to make the election in a majority Republican district competitive.

With no political experience or a platform to run on (it should be announced in the coming days), Lewis is facing the biggest race of his life.

(Photo: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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