Clay Aiken wins NC Dem congressional primary

'American Idol' singer will face GOP incumbent in conservative district
Associated Press
May 13, 2014


"American Idol" singer Clay Aiken won what had been a hotly contested Democratic primary for a North Carolina congressional seat according to a final, unofficial vote count that was posted Tuesday, a day after the accidental death of his closest rival.

Aiken will face Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in November in the GOP-leaning district where Mitt Romney won nearly six in 10 votes in 2012. Ellmers won by 56 percent that year and is looking for a third term. The county-by-county tally of the 2nd Congressional District race posted by the state Tuesday confirmed Aiken got more than 40 percent of the vote needed to win the three-candidate race.

On Monday, second-place finisher Keith Crisco, 71, died after falling at his home. Hours earlier, campaign manager Christine Botta said they had counted the absentee votes in two key counties, forcing Crisco to acknowledge defeat. He had decided to concede his loss to Aiken on Tuesday, she said.

"Keith and I talked in detail about the fact that the votes weren't there," Botta said.

Aiken and Crisco each picked up a handful of votes after the last of the absentee ballots returned by a Monday deadline were counted, according to results on the State Board of Elections website.

The results will become official after review by the state elections board. That meeting isn't yet set, Elections board spokesman Joshua Lawson said, but is tentatively scheduled for May 22.

Crisco slipped and fell while stepping through the front door of his home in Asheboro, about 65 miles west of Raleigh.

"We know that he fell in the threshold as he was going in his house," said Asheboro city manager John Ogburn, who spoke with rescue workers sent to the scene and has known Crisco for more than a decade.

"It was just a total freak accident," said Brad Crone, a Raleigh political consultant and friend who discussed Crisco's concession decision with the candidate about two hours before his death. "The truth is stranger than fiction."

Crisco's funeral was scheduled for Friday.

Aiken is an openly gay man in a district populated with many socially conservative, evangelical Christians. He said that during the primary he was never asked about his orientation except by reporters.

Ellmers, a 50-year-old nurse from Dunn, rode the tea party wave that shook up Congress in 2010. But she was attacked this year by fellow conservatives for backing a formula on immigration that the GOP House leadership advanced in January. That plan would allow an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally to stay in the country if they paid a fine but would not allow them to qualify for citizenship.




and why is this news? Oh you know why!! Its not his high level of experience either.


News worthy enough to draw your comment : ))))))))


I would rather have someone who started his own charity for children (National Inclusion Project) in his mid-20s, worked as a special education teacher, and has toiled tirelessly for the rights of autistic children to be included in “typical” kids' activities, than a career politician.

In addition, Aiken traveled to Banda Aceh after the tsunami to help restore education for children; to Uganda to work with children whose lives are consumed with avoiding being kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army (who turn them into child soldiers); and to Afghanistan to spend time with children in their classrooms and administer polio vaccines, all as an ambassador for UNICEF.

He also ran his own business as a performer, managing money, dealing with venues and fans, etc. He went head-to-head with Clive Davis regarding the trajectory of his career and won. He toured his *ss off, a testament to his work ethic. He often had cortisone injections in his vocal chords to avoid canceling a performance, and he performed one night with vertigo so bad that he had to be led onto and off of the stage.

By the age of 36, he has performed on television, on Broadway, has sung the National Anthem for NASCAR, the NHL, at the World Series, just to name a few. He has devoted his time to several charities, has taken a stand on LGBT rights, is a bestselling author, has several multi-platinum albums, and oh yeah--was appointed for a two-year term to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

I'll take that real-world experience ANY DAY over someone who has never worked in the private sector, is a professional politician, someone who was groomed early on to get into politics, etc.


Any one of which makes him INFINITELY more qualified than obama.


Does the observation that political campaigns are largely just popularly contests need any explanation?


Just because Clay Aiken is famous for something else doesn't mean he'll make a bad politician (though I can't think of ANY Democrat with whom I'd be thrilled...). In fact, Aiken's experiences might make him a better REPRESENTATIVE, which is what politicians are SUPPOSED to be.

He likely won't win the general election in the district, but at least he's making some effort to continue to make a difference. That puts him one up on a whole lot of people, including those who sit behind a computer keyboard and complain as the sum total of THEIR activism!


Re: "bad politician"

That's an oxymoron, right?


Re: "those who sit behind a computer keyboard and complain as the sum total of THEIR activism!"

The collectivists have sadly infected society with the idea that much more is publicly required of it's citizens than simply being a law-abiding, family-oriented individual.

Sacrifice is necessary and if that is not forthcoming, societal guilt is used as the cudgel. See: "Atlas Shrugged"

It's entertainers such as Mr. Aiken who tend to make self-promotion in order to further their careers, to be confused by others to appear as altruism.

Sincere altruism is performed anonymously without fanfare or cameras.


"Re: "bad politician"

That's an oxymoron, right?"

Nah, just a descriptor written by the Department of Redundancy Department.


While I agree that setting an example is not just important but crucial, and I agree that not everybody has the time or talent to actually do anything beyond that, I still believe that merely complaining isn't enough. If complaints worked, after all, we'd be in much better shape! But politicians don't listen. The government has become one gigantic steamroller where individual rights are concerned. And the ONLY way to be heard is via such things as

- Demonstrations/protests/rallies
- Court cases
- Campaigning (both on issues AND for/against candidates)
- EDUCATING (starting with yourself!)

I have no idea whether Aiken is running because he wants to make a difference (again, let me reiterate that his liberal mindset is NOT a difference I'd like to see) or because he's not as famous as he used to be. No matter how altruistic something seems (or doesn't), that kind of thing always has an element of "self" in it regardless, hence the public face of it all.

True altruism is anonymous? Yes. But that doesn't preclude the notion of doing some good simply because there's publicity attached!


He is giving up his career to pursue politics, so your comment doesn't fit this particular scenario.


Re: "He is giving up his career to pursue politics,"

And if politics doesn't work out, then what?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"Heroes act without thought of glory or reward. Accolades are a consequence, not a reward."


Ummmm...can't believe that no one has commented that his opponent DIED the day before the primary vote. I've got to think that this little tidbit might have helped Mr. Aiken just a wee, little bit.


Not true. His opponent was already preparing to concede the election (which was very close) when he died. He died AFTER the vote, but before conceding or the declaration of a winner. The voting was last week; the candidate died Monday.


Very sad, indeed, and an unforeseeable tragedy. Aiken said that he is taking time off from the political race to mourn the passing of Crisco and pray for his family.


Every nation gets the government it deserves


Agree MBR with your 1rst post. We in America do need motivated people like this guy - regardless of political stripe. Too long we have been "governed" by the Harvard Alumnus, Koch Brothers, etc.

Dr. Information

He's going to hit the ground running and really POUND out those votes.