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‘American Idol’ runner-up Clay Aiken to run for Congress in N.C.: report

- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2014

The 2003 "American Idol" runner-up, Clay Aiken, will run for Congress in North Carolina's 2nd District as a Democrat against second-term GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers.

Mr. Aiken, a 35-year-old Raleigh native, is building a campaign team and is expected to formally announce next month, ATR Roll Call confirmed.

Democratic operatives said the singer has met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; however, the DCCC would not confirm the meeting took place.

"It's a tough district; it's a conservative-leaning district," Democratic consultant Morgan Jackson told Roll Call. "It's a matter of can he tap into the base of folks who have been buying his albums for years?"

Democrats Keith Crisco and Houston Barnes have already announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination.

"It's a tough seat to begin with, and [Aiken] would have problems getting someone to take him seriously," a Democratic source told Roll Call.

Mr. Aiken starred in the second season of "American Idol" in 2003, finishing second to Ruben Studdard. The singer went on to release a multi-platinum record "Measure of a Man" and four more albums with RCA.

He would have to file by Feb. 28 to run in the May 6 primary.

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