He inherited his father"s farm in Halswell. He first entered parliament winning the 13 February 1896 by-election in the City of Christchurch electorate, triggered by the appointment of William Pember Reeves as Agent-General. He then represented the Courtenay electorate in Canterbury from 1902 to 1908, when he retired.
Lewis retired to Waipukurau, in the North Island and "died there by his own hand on 28 November 1927.
He was nervous and ill at the time".