Clay Aiken Makes Congressional Bid Official

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A runner-up from T.V. singing competition American Idol submitted paperwork Thursday to run for Congress in North Carolina, the Associated Press reports.

Clay Aiken, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the state’s second district, announced his candidacy earlier this month.

The performer placed second in Fox’s hit talent show in 2003, losing out to Ruben Studdard.

Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and licensed professional counselor Toni Morris are also seeking the Democratic nomination. If Aiken gets his party’s nod, he’ll face off against incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers, provided she fends off her own primary challenger.

Aiken, who lives in the Raleigh-Durham area, came out as gay in 2008. He expressed confidence in his ability to win in the Republican-leaning district at a gathering with supporters Thursday.

“I am comfortable with myself. I am comfortable with the campaign we’re running,” Aiken said. “I am positive that people are going to vote for the person who they think will do the best job, who they think can win in November.”

Aiken’s campaign has raised more than $100,000 so far, while his Republican rival has $260,000 in the bank.


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