It's official: The greatest runner in American sports is off to the races. The political kind, that is.

Citing the need to "change the political discourse in New Jersey and Washington," nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis is making a run for state Senate in New Jersey as a Democrat this year. 

The New Jersey native and track and field legend announced Monday that he plans to take on Republican state Sen. Dawn Addiego in November.

"It's time to change the political discourse in New Jersey and around the country," Lewis said in a statement.

"The people are fed up with their elected officials playing the blame game and treating their political counterparts as enemies."

Local Democratic officials have been working to convince Lewis to make a bid in the hopes of attracting some additional attention and money on the race for the generally Republican-leaning state Senate district. 

"I'm proud of where I came from, proud to be back, and ready to step up to serve the taxpayers of this great state that afforded me so many wonderful opportunities," Lewis said.