Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

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.

As of Monday, Crisco trailed “American Idol” runner up Clay Aiken by about 370 votes for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina’s 2nd District. A canvass was set for Tuesday to determine whether Aiken had won the election outright, or whether Crisco could have forced a recount or runoff election.

Brad Crone, a North Carolina Democratic strategist and friend of Crisco, said Crisco was set to concede to Aiken Tuesday morning.

“I had spoken with Keith earlier in the day,” Crone said in an email. “I had called [Aiken advisor] Gary Pearce to convey that Keith was going to concede the election tomorrow morning and would be calling Mr. Aiken to congratulate him.”

The North Carolina State Board of Elections acknowledged Crisco’s passing in a statement Monday afternoon, but did not immediately confirm whether Aiken is officially certified as the primary winner.

“The State Board of Elections is saddened to hear of the passing of Keith Crisco.  A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco’s service to our state and his community through the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time.”

Both were looking to take on GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in November.

  • Mitch

    Is foul play suspected?

  • southerndemnut

    No story is he tripped and fell hitting his head. Freak accident and freak timing.

  • OBforObama

    Hillary better have a damned good alibi.

    (ALERT: The previous message was snark, employed to illustrate how deranged some people are about Hillary Rodham Clinton.)

  • southerndemnut

    Well now that Karl Rove thinks Hillary has brain damage IDK…

  • Hetero Lingo

    If we are free to respond to the fleeting circumstances we are constantly faced with, it will be impossible for another person to judge the merits of our choices and efforts correctly.

  • Bitter Cold

    While civilization’s advance mostly depends on the genius, courage, and industry unleashed by liberty, civilization’s decline tends to accelerate under the shackles of centralized restrictions and control.

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