Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

Posts in "N.C.-2"

October 20, 2014

Clay Aiken Returns to TV (Video)

Clay Aiken Returns to TV (Video)

Aiken released his first TV ad. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, the Democratic nominee in North Carolina’s 2nd District, went up Monday with his first ad of the general election.

With two weeks to go, Aiken talks to camera in the 30-second spot, attacking Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers for keeping her paycheck during the government shut down, among other things.

Full story

July 15, 2014

Clay Aiken Bests Renee Ellmers in Second Quarter Fundraising (Updated)

Clay Aiken Bests Renee Ellmers in Second Quarter Fundraising (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress as a Democrat. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:20 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken announced raising $450,000 from April through June for his bid in North Carolina’s 2nd District — more than his Republican opponent, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers.

The Democrat, who faces an uphill climb to defeat Ellmers and has not yet reported his second-quarter fundraising to the Federal Election Commission, did not release his cash-on-hand total as of June 30. But that haul is a sharp increase from what he raised in the first three months of the year. Aiken had just $74,000 in cash on hand as of April 16, a few weeks before the state’s May 6 primary.

At that point, Aiken was locked in a competitive Democratic primary with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who died one week after the primary after falling outside his home.

Full story

May 13, 2014

Clay Aiken Will Officially Become Democratic Nominee in North Carolina

Clay Aiken Will Officially Become Democratic Nominee in North Carolina

Aiken will be the Democratic nominee for North Carolina's 2nd District. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is set to be certified as the Democratic nominee in North Carolina’s 2nd District, after the North Carolina State Board of Elections received the tally of all votes cast in last Tuesday’s primary.

As of May 6, Aiken led former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco by about 370 votes. After all of the votes were reported from the nine counties within the district on Tuesday, Aiken gained an additional 21 votes, leaving him with 40.86 percent to Crisco’s 39.49 percent.

That tally pushed Aiken over the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, and out of the range possible to trigger a recount.

The news comes one day after Crisco, 71, died suddenly in his home in Asheboro after a fall.

Full story

May 12, 2014

Clay Aiken Primary Opponent Dies (Video)

Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who was vying for the Democratic nomination in a North Carolina House race, died on Monday, an employee at his company, Asheboro Elastics Corporation, confirmed.

Local media reports stated that Crisco died from a fall at his home in Asheboro. He was pronounced dead when emergency responders arrived on the scene, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. He was 71.

Full story

May 7, 2014

Clay Aiken’s Primary Fate May Be Unclear for Days

Clay Aikens Primary Fate May Be Unclear for Days

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The Democratic House primary between “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken and former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco remained too close to call following Tuesday’s primary.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Aiken leads Crisco by 372 votes, according to The Associated Press.

Crisco has yet to concede and he said in a statement Wednesday morning that the campaign will wait for a report from the State Board of Elections to determine the next steps in the contest.

Full story

May 6, 2014

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Aiken is a Democrat from North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken leads his Democratic primary opponent by just 372 votes Tuesday night in a North Carolina race for the House.

Aiken had a small advantage over former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, 41 percent to 40 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press, which had not declared a winner as of midnight.

A third Democrat, mental health counselor Toni Morris, garnered 20 percent, according to the AP.

Full story

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series of contentious Republican battles over the next month.

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Further down the ballot, an American Idol runner-up hopes he’ll have better luck in a Tar Heel State House race and longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., will try to avoid becoming the first incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. In Ohio, a spirited challenger — perhaps best known for parodying a Cialis commercial in his bid — will attempt to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner.

In North Carolina, the contests could drag out for months. Primaries for Senate, the 6th and 12th Districts might continue to a runoff on July 15 if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the vote.

Here are six things to watch in those races and others on Tuesday: Full story

May 1, 2014

Clay Aiken Could Be Runner-Up in House Primary

Clay Aiken Could Be Runner Up in House Primary

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken could come in second place again on Tuesday – this time in a congressional primary in North Carolina.

Aiken is running for the Democratic nomination in the Tar Heel State’s 2nd District, along with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and mental health counselor Toni Morris. All three are looking to take on GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in this heavily Republican district in November.

But the “Idol” star has largely banked on his famous name to get him through the May 6 primary — and the state’s political operatives say his celebrity status may not be enough to win the nomination.

Even Aiken’s campaign is hedging their chances.

“We’ve been outspent and that concerns me,” said Gary Pearce, a longtime North Carolina Democratic operative who advises Aiken’s campaign. “Clay has a lot going in the district and has strong popularity, but right now I wouldn’t be surprised either way.”

Full story

April 22, 2014

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Aiken is running for Congress. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The top primary opponent to Clay Aiken in North Carolina is slamming the “American Idol” runner-up’s public service record in a TV ad launched two weeks before they face off for the Democratic nomination.

Keith Crisco, a former North Carolina Commerce secretary, hits his opponent in the ad for skipping meetings for a commission Aiken was appointed to by then-President George W. Bush — an appointment Aiken has touted since launching his campaign in February.

Crisco and Aiken are competing in the May 6 primary for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in the GOP-leaning district.

“Clay Aiken says helping children with special needs is one of his top priorities, but when the president appointed Clay Aiken to the Presidential Commission for People With Intellectual Disabilities, no-show Clay Aiken skipped every single meeting,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot.

Full story

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:22 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who is running for a North Carolina House seat as a Democrat, launched his first TV ad Tuesday — a bio spot highlighting his difficult childhood and his recent help for children with autism.

“I’m running for Congress, and I approve this message because every child deserves a chance,” Aiken says in the ad, released two weeks ahead of the state’s May 6 primaries.

Full story

April 15, 2014

Clay Aiken Reports Fundraising for North Carolina House Campaign

Clay Aiken Reports Fundraising for North Carolina House Campaign

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Clay Aiken, an “American Idol” runner-up and Democratic long-shot running for Congress in North Carolina, reported raising $233,000 in the first quarter of this year.

Aiken’s haul includes a $23,000 loan to his campaign, according to his campaign finance report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. Aiken reported $125,000 in cash on hand as of March 31.

The haul is smaller than expected for a celebrity candidate; they often rake in huge hauls thanks to deep-pocketed Hollywood connections. Full story

February 5, 2014

Clay Aiken Announces Congressional Bid

Clay Aiken Announces Congressional Bid

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken launched his bid for Congress on Wednesday morning as a Democrat in North Carolina’s 2nd District.

In a video message, Aiken says he is running against GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers because he feels she votes against the best interests of her constituents.

“This is what’s wrong with Washington,” Aiken said in a video announcement on his website, ClayAiken.com. “That a Congresswoman would go [to Washington] and vote against the best interests of North Carolina military families and those who depend on the military for their jobs. To do it when you know it’s wrong is even worse.”

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 7:26 a.m.
House 2014, N.C.-2

January 23, 2014

Clay Aiken Preparing Congressional Bid in North Carolina

Clay Aiken Preparing Congressional Bid in North Carolina

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is preparing to run for Congress as a Democrat in North Carolina’s 2nd District, multiple Democratic sources confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

But his candidacy is being met with skepticism by some Tar Heel State Democrats, who are holding out hope of making it a race in this Republican-leaning district.

Aiken, a Raleigh native, is looking to take on second-term GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in the central North Carolina district, which President Barack Obama lost by 15 points in 2012. Raleigh-based WRAL reported Thursday that Aiken is building a campaign team and is expected to formally announce next month.

Democratic operatives said Aiken has met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about the campaign. When asked, the DCCC declined to comment on whether any such meeting took place. Full story

January 27, 2012

Bob Etheridge Eyeing Return to N.C. Politics

Bob Etheridge Eyeing Return to N.C. Politics

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thursday’s earthquake in North Carolina Democratic politics opened a lot of doors for politicians aspiring to higher office. Enter stage right: former Rep. Bob Etheridge (D), who lost a close race to freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) in 2010.

In a telephone interview with Roll Call this morning, Etheridge, who twice ran successfully for statewide office, said he is considering three options: a gubernatorial run, another bid for the House of Representatives or going to the private sector. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...