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Clay Aiken challenger in N.C. congressional race dies

- The Washington Times - Monday, May 12, 2014

Keith Crisco, the North Carolina congressional candidate locked in a tight race for the Democratic ticket against former "American Idol" star Clay Aiken, died suddenly on Monday, according to a report by the Asheboro Courier-Tribune.

Mr. Crisco, the 71-year-old co-founder of Asheboro Elastics Corp., died Monday afternoon after sustaining serious injuries in a fall inside his Asheboro home.

The Democrat had run against the former "American Idol" contestant for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers for the state's 2nd congressional district seat.

The race was considered too close to call, but Mr. Aiken was ahead by 369 votes. Local election officials have not yet commented on how Crisco's death will affect election results, the New York Daily News reported.

Miss Ellmers' office released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"I am deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God's blessings for Keith's family through the coming days. His kindness and dedication to his principles were models we should all strive toward, and he will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Keith's family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time."

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