In 1984, Carl Lewis etched his name into track and field history by winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. But like that challenge, he will also need endurance, cunning and starting blocks for his political run.
(More on TIME.com: See Carl Lewis’ 1984 cover of TIME)
The nine-time Olympic gold medalist announced his candidacy as a Democrat for New Jersey State Senate Monday, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported. Lewis, 49, who lives in Medford, N.J., has never run for public office but the party feels that he may have a shot against GOP incumbent Dawn Addiego in the state’ 8th district which leans Republican.
But he says he’s interested in bi-partisanship and considers Gov. Chris Christie “a good friend.”
“When I was (an) athlete, I also loved my competition,” Lewis said at the announcement. “I’m going to be the people’s candidate. I’m going to knock on as many doors as I can.”
Lewis took gold medals in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympics.