Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Senate Candidate Seeks Understanding for a Civil Campaign Focusing on Issues

MEDFORD, N.J. (April 12, 2011) -- Eager to set a tone of civility and fair play in this year’s election, Democratic State Senate candidate Carl Lewis said today he wants to begin the campaign by having lunch with his Republican counterpart. Lewis, who announced his candidacy for the Eighth District legislative seat on Monday, extended the luncheon invitation to Sen. Dawn Addiego to help create the environment for a clean campaign that focuses on the issues rather than on partisan hyperbole and personal attacks.

“I look forward to meeting Sen. Addiego in an informal setting so we can get to know one another as our campaigns begin,” said Lewis, a Medford resident who grew up in Willingboro and went on to become one of the greatest Olympians of all time. “I want to shake her hand, look her in the eye and ask her to join me in setting a tone of mutual respect that leads to the kind of campaign that voters of the Eighth District deserve.”

“I am determined to run a campaign that engages the voters and makes them proud of our political system, not cynical and turned off by it,” Lewis said. “One of the greatest legacies we can leave our children is the kind of civil, honest and, yes, spirited election process that our founding fathers envisioned when they created this great democracy.”
Lewis said that one of his principal goals in running for the Senate is to help change the increasingly negative, polarizing nature of the political discourse in Washington, Trenton and across the country. He said it stands in the way of compromise and meaningful solutions to the critical problems in New Jersey and the nation. He said it also fuels voter cynicism and distrust of government.

Restoring faith with the electorate, Lewis said, begins with campaigns. And he wants the race between himself and Addiego to be a model for how a clean, above-board campaign can be run. He said he was determined to conduct his campaign in a responsible, respectful way that avoids the name-calling and unscrupulous tactics that have become so ingrained in American politics, and is confident Addiego wants the same.

“As I said on Monday, I run to win,” said Lewis, who won nine Olympic Gold Medals over the course of his famed track-and-field career. “I have always given everything I have to every challenge I’ve faced, and this will be no different. I am very passionate about many serious issues in our state, and I look forward to a lively debate with Sen. Addiego over the course of the campaign.”

“But at the same time, I learned from my father, who was a coach, and then learned as an athlete, that competition is about fair play and respect for your adversary,” Lewis said. “That is the way I’ve always conducted myself, and that’s the way I will conduct myself in this campaign.”

“We are blessed to live in a country that gives us the opportunity to choose our elected officials in an open, free democratic system,” Lewis said. “It’s our responsibility as candidates not to abuse that system, but to treat it as the valuable civic enterprise it can be.”

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