WESTAMPTON, N.J. (AP) — Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis says he’s happy the challenge of his bid to run for office in New Jersey appears to be behind him.

Lewis says Wednesday that he’s looking forward to campaigning for the 8th District state Senate seat after an appeals court a day earlier restored his name to the ballot. The Democrat says he entered the race because he believes in public service.

Republicans claimed Lewis was ineligible to run because he didn’t meet the state’s four-year residency requirement for candidates.

GOP lawyers say they’ll appeal.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.