'American Idol' Contestant Declared Winner Over Deceased Rival

Image: 'American Idol' Contestant Declared Winner Over Deceased Rival Clay Aiken, left and The late Keith Crisco.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 03:42 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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Former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken is now a Democratic candidate for Congress.

The primary race had been too close to call, but The Hill reports that Aiken's opponent unexpectedly passed away, leaving the 36-year-old singer as the unofficial winner.

Keith Crisco, a one time state commerce secretary, died suddenly on Monday afternoon after he fell down in his house.

Aiken won the primary by a mere 390 votes and that is technically enough to avoid a run off. But the results still have to be reviewed by the state election board, due to meet on May 22.

Aiken's campaign has said that they will suspend activities for the moment out of deference to Crisco.

The victory may be short-lived however in the heavily conservative district. Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers is expected to win in a clear victory.

Ellmers also expressed his condolences to 71-year-old Crisco's family.

"I am deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God's blessings for Keith's family through the coming days," Ellmers said according to a report in The Washington Post. "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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