Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Clay Aiken Announces Congressional Bid

Clay Aiken

(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, “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.”

Aiken grew up in North Carolina and was a special-education teacher before “American Idol “helped launch his music career. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Aiken to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Aiken’s announcement is not a surprise. He started building a team for his bid earlier this year, and his potential candidacy was met with some skepticism from North Carolina Democratic operatives.

He is the third Democrat to announce a bid for the seat. Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and attorney Houston Barnes have already entered the contest.

The seat will be tough for any Democrat to win. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by a 16-point margin in 2012.

North Carolina’s 2nd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • GordonTrenchard

    Aiken recently in a major newspaper (Durham Herald Sun) referred to Raleigh as “yuppie white bread”. His district, that he inanely seeks to represent, is part of Wake County (Raleigh). Contempt and condescension for your potential constituents, the people you will work for? Anyone? Anyone?

  • Moth Miller

    I learned about Clay because of that “golden ticket” and became a fan of his angelic voice. We fans have a saying, “I came for the voice and stayed for the man.” North Carolina is fortunate to have this opportunity to elect an intelligent advocate for the interests of its citizens.

  • Norman Bates

    He’s probably right. Sorry the truth offends you.

  • GordonTrenchard

    I love the truth. What he said is categorically untrue by definition. It is a broad generalization and he used it in a pejorative term. While there may be many “yuppies” and people he considers “white bread” it is certainly not everyone. Of course, if a GOPer ( I am not one) used a similar pejorative about say, Durham, it would be all over the place in the media.

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