Chris Christie says former Olympian Carl Lewis is suffering from "sour grapes" after accusing the New Jersey governor of purposely trying to keep him off the ballot in a state Senate race.
Lewis, whose efforts to run for state Senate as a Democrat never materialized after courts found he didn't meet residency requirements, accused Christie of trying to bully him out of the race.
Lewis told Yahoo! Sports that Christie phoned him to say: "I'm going to come after you."
"What we're seeing here is part of a pattern that I witnessed personally," Lewis said. "I kind of look at a lot of parallels."
State and federal courts upheld a decision by Christie Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to exclude Lewis from the race because he didn't meet residency requirements under New Jersey's state constitution.
The Christie administration says that while it respects Lewis, the issue has been fully litigated.
"Unfortunately, this coming now is obviously a sour-grapes rehash of a clear-cut legal issue which did not fall his way," said Christie spokesman Colin Reed. "Mr. Lewis was disqualified from running on the basis of residency by every court — state and federal — and lost at every level, including all of his appeals."
Lewis's allegation comes amid a series of controversies involving the Christie administration using its political muscle to achieve its goals and put pressure on Democrats throughout the Garden State.