Clay Aiken's Congress Bid Hangs on Slim Lead in North Carolina

Image: Clay Aiken's Congress Bid Hangs on Slim Lead in North Carolina

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 09:08 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Clay Aiken's Congress bid appears to have passed another hurdle as the 35-year-old musician and former American Idol runner-up enjoys a slim 369 vote lead with 99 percent of votes counted in the Democratic primary for North Carolina's Second Congressional District.

The openly gay singer, who was outspent on both radio and TV by his primary opponent, former North Carolina Commerce secretary Keith Crisco, delivered a hopeful victory speech to his supporters Tuesday night.

"We are feeling incredibly comfortable tonight," Aiken told supporters. "Not only with the results we've seen this evening, but more than anything we're comfortable with the way this campaign was run."

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"The message. . . We're trying to get out, is a message that I truly believe resonates not just here in the second district, but it resonates throughout the state and it resonates throughout the country, and people are ready to see a change in the tone in Washington and we are going to bring it to them," Aiken added.

Aiken closed out his pep talk by introducing the campaigns new "theme song," singing a few lines from the 1960s classic song, "Just Walk Away Renee," a reference to his Republican opponent, Rep. Renee Ellmers, who is running for her third term in the conservative North Carolina congressional seat.

Aiken's most public foray into politics came in February 2012 when he spoke out against North Carolina's constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

According to Roll Call, Aiken raised $233,000 in the first quarter of this year for what has been characterized by some as his longshot bid to win the Second District, which is based in the central part of the state and Fayetteville.

In 2012, the district was won by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney who received 58 percent of the vote, USA Today noted. In Comparison, President Barack Obama garnered just 41 percent of the vote in North Carolina's Second District in the 2012 election.

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