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Track and field legend Carl Lewis finally found a court willing to help him get into the race for the New Jersey state Senate — but there's a chance his run will be fleeting.

A three-judge panel of the Philadelphia-based U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Lewis' name should be included when the ballots are printed for the 8th Legislative District Democratic state Senate primary. While the three-judge panel granted that emergency request, it didn't make a final ruling on whether he's eligible for office.

Lewis' lawyer, William Tambussi, said that under the ruling, "the voters, not a partisan elected official, will decide who should be the state senator in the 8th Legislative District."

Republicans contend that Lewis does not meet the state requirement that a candidate live in New Jersey for four years before seeking a seat in the state Senate.

Lewis, 49, grew up in Willingboro before becoming one of track's biggest stars and a nine-time Olympic gold medalist. He bought a home in New Jersey in 2005 and has been assisting with the track team at Willingboro High School since 2007. He went to college in Texas, and he has a home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and a business in Los Angeles. He registered to vote in New Jersey only last month, just before he announced his candidacy.

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