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Clay Aiken’s Primary Fate May Be Unclear for Days
Posted at 10:51 a.m. on May 7
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.
“This election is still very tight. I want the elections officials to have an opportunity to tally the votes and provide a report on their canvass activities to allow all the campaigns a chance to see the final numbers,” Crisco said in a statement.
An election official in North Carolina said a resolution to the race could be several days away.
The state’s election law allows a challenger to request a recount if the winning candidate leads with less than 1 percent of all votes cast in the election. With the current vote tally reported by the AP, that threshold would be 286 votes.
Similarly, if a recount is called and the leading candidate falls below the 40 percent, the race could head to a runoff.
“The North Carolina State Board of Elections acknowledges the closeness of this race and is reviewing the matter in that context,” the election official told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.
Both Aiken and Crisco are looking to take on GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in November in North Carolina’s 2nd District.
A general election here will be a challenge for a Democrat: GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 58 percent in 2012.
North Carolina’s 2nd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.