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Gold Medalist Shea Drops Utah Bid

March 24, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Olympic gold medalist Jim Shea, Jr., who won hearts in 2002 with his victory in the skeleton shortly after his grandfather’s death, has withdrawn his candidacy for the Utah Legislature.

Shea withdrew on Wednesday, one day before the state’s chief election officer was expected to rule on whether he met the three-year residency requirement to run.

The Summit County Democratic Party had filed a complaint Tuesday claiming that Shea, a Republican, had voted in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November 2003.

``Apparently, I’m getting my first taste of dirty politics,″ Shea said. ``Apparently, the Democratic Party is very nervous and has gone to some extreme measures.″

Shea, 37, grew up in Lake Placid, where his father and grandfather both trained for the Olympics as young men. He won the gold medal in the skeleton at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and now lives in Park City.

Shea filed last week to run for the seat being vacated by a House member running for the Senate and said that if he was disqualified he would run again in 2008.

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