Clay Aiken to run for North Carolina Congress seat as a Democrat

By Daniel S Levine,

Singer Clay Aiken, who competed on American Idol and The Celebrity Apprentice, launched his bid for a seat in Congress to represent the second district in North Carolina. Aiken stressed that he is not out to become a career politician, but to help represent his state and that even though he went to Hollywood, he never forgot where he grew up.

In a video interview with the NewsObserver, Aiken explained why he has decided to run in the Democratic primary to challenge the district’s current Representative, Renee Ellmers, a Republican.

“I saw this as the best place I could serve, because I think Washington, in general, is dysfunctional,” Aiken, 35, told the site. “I think it’s high time we put people in Congress who were not beholden to their party, and not beholden to anything but the people who they live around and grew up around, in my case.”

Aiken said that during his campaign, he will make Ellmers’ voting record a focus, as it includes voting to cut aid to military families. “I want her to have to talk about and defend some of the things she’s done to people in this district,” Aiken told the NewsObserver.

He also launched a campaign site, which features a video in which Aiken traces his childhood and his career, pointing out that he was a special education teacher. “The years I spent as a special education teacher for students with autism was my first window into the difference that a person can make in someone's life,” Aiken said, notes CNN.

Aiken has an uphill battle for the seat, which was not one Democrats were making a point of trying to win. Ellmers received 56 percent of the vote when she was elected to a second term in 2012. Aiken’s Democratic primary challengers are commerce secretary Keith Crisco and licensed professional counselor Toni Morris.

image: screenshot

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