TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s top election official is expected to decide Tuesday whether Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis meets the state’s four-year residency requirement to run for office.

Lewis’ petition to run for state Senate as a Democrat was challenged by Republicans who want his name stricken from the June primary ballot.

They claim Lewis voted in California until recently.

An administrative law judge recommended the 49-year-old be allowed to run.

The pending decision by Secretary of State Kim Guadagno (GWAH’-dah-noh) can be appealed.

Lewis told The Philadelphia Inquirer Gov. Chris Christie tried to talk him out of running and threatened to cut an athletic program Lewis wanted to start.

The Christie administration told the newspaper Lewis misunderstood the talk. However, the athletic program is all but dead.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.