Lewis receives 160 write-in votes for state Senate

carl lewisHis name might not have been on the ballot, but Olympic legend Carl Lewis still managed to pick up at least 160 write-in votes in the 8th Legislative District’s Senate contest.

That total was far behind the 16,000-plus tally of victorious Republican incumbent Dawn Marie Addiego, but it put him well above the other famous write-in vote recipients, among them Mickey Mouse, Cookie Monster, Abraham Lincoln, and comedians Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.

Other notable write-in recipients in the race were former Govs. Jon S. Corzine and Jim McGreevey and classical composer Wolfgang Mozart.

A total of 486 write-in votes were tallied in Burlington County for Addiego’s uncontested Senate race, according to unofficial results provided by the county Clerk’s Office.

Lewis created a sensation last spring when he announced that he would run as a Democrat for Addiego’s seat. But he quickly was booted off the ballot by New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno after the Burlington County Republicans complained that he did not meet the state Constitution’s four-year residency requirement.

Lewis, who grew up in Willingboro but spent most of his adult life in Texas and California, sued to overturn the decision. The ensuing legal battle lasted through the summer until a federal appeals panel decided he should not be permitted to run.

After ending his legal fight, Lewis urged residents to turn out to the polls and “vote for what I believe in,” but he did not mount a formal write-in campaign.

Lewis did speak at a Democratic pep rally in Willingboro shortly before the election, creating controversy because of comments he made criticizing Republican Sen. Diane Allen for using her state health benefits to undergo cancer treatment but then abstaining in a veto override attempt of Gov. Chris Christie’s funding cuts to women’s health care clinics.

In addition to Lewis’ 160 write-ins, one voter cast a ballot for “Anyone but Addiego” and two wrote in Allen to serve as the 8th District’s senator as well as the 7th’s representative.

Marijuana activist Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion, who was listed on the ballot as an independent candidate for the district’s two Assembly seats, also managed to receive a few write-in votes for the 8th District Senate seat, as did Mount Holly resident Paul Bracy, who mounted a write-in campaign for county freeholder after he failed to obtain enough signatures on his nominating petition for the Democratic primary.

Bracy also was not permitted to run as an independent because he had already submitted a Democratic petition.

Forchion ended up receiving 1,209 votes in his unsuccessful Assembly bid. Bracy received 116 write-in votes for freeholder.

And while Lewis may be well known for his Olympic success, not every voter was familiar with the correct spelling of his name. One write-in vote was cast for “Carl Louis” and another for “Carl-Luwes.”

David Levinsky: 609-871-8154; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Twitter: @davidlevinsky