Ex runner up “American Idol” Clay Aiken announced Monday that he will be fighting for a seat in North Carolina again. This time he is trying to replace the retiring member of the House of Representatives David Price.
In the video announcing his candidacy for the 6th District, Aiken said he was ready to fight with other candidates for seats for the Democratic Party, which had been suspended from March to May due to litigation issues.
After winning second place on “American Idol” in 2003, Aiken, who is 43 years old, has not only made a career in music, theater and performed in reality shows, but it is also involved in social and political activities.
“Hello everyone, it’s been a long time since we last met. I know I look a little different now, but we’ve been together before,” Aiken said in the video.
Aiken won the Democratic Party’s nomination for the mostly rural district in 2014, ahead of candidate Keith Crisco, the state’s former secretary of commerce. But he lost the election to incumbent Republican candidate Renee Ellmers. At that time Aiken only won 41 percent of the vote.
The 6th district which is Aiken’s battle area is currently dominated by the Democratic Party. The area includes the counties of Orange and Durham, where the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University are located, as well as the highly prosperous Wake County area.
The Research Triangle Parkm area, which is home to science and technology institutions and companies, is also within the 6th District where David Price has served as a member of the county’s House of Representatives since 1987.
Aiken, who grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Raleigh, said he would work hard to promote inclusive conditions, provide free, high-quality health care and fight climate change.
The main winner of the 6th District is almost certain to win the election.
If he wins by-elections in November, Aiken will be the first Southerner, who is open to his status as part of the LGBTQ group, elected to Congress.
He said he would balance the state’s politics against hardline Republicans, such as Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson and House member Madison Cawthorn. Many Democrats have called for Robinson to resign because of his remarks about sex education in schools, which some critics say undermined the existence of LGBTQ people.
In an interview on Monday (10/1), a political expert at Meredith College, Prof. David McLennan says Aiken’s celebrity status is not as strong as it was eight years ago. He has never been elected to a government office before. But Aiken proved to be a credible candidate in 2014 and could benefit from linking himself with David Price.
The top two voters will advance to the second round if the main candidate does not have more than 30 percent of the vote in the next election. [em/jm]