Nine time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis announced his candidacy for the 8th District New Jersey State state Senate seat, on Monday.
"When I run, I run to win," Lewis said, as he entered the race outside the old county courthouse in Mount Holly, N.J.
The 49-year-old Medford resident will run as a Democrat.
He will challenge Republican Dawn Addiego, who was appointed in November 2010, to fill the unexpired term of Superior Court Judge Phil Haines. Addiego had served in the General Assembly since Jan. 2008.
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"We all know Carl Lewis was once one of the world's greatest athletes, but after a 30 minute press conference today in downtown Mount Holly we still don't know much else other than that he just registered to vote in New Jersey today," said Addiego campaign manager Chris Russell, in a statement.
Lewis said he hopes to inspire young people, parents, schools and communities to "come out and run with me."
"We're running straight to Trenton," Lewis said.
The former track and field athlete won 10 Olympic medals, including nine gold between 1984 and 1996. He has been a volunteer track coach for four years at Willingboro High School, where he graduated in 1979.
Monday was the filing deadline for candidates running for the New Jersey Legislature.
All 120 seats of the Senate and Assembly will be on the ballot in November.
The state primary is set for June 7.