Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
North Carolina

Democratic consultant confirms: Clay Aiken considering run for Congress

Saturday, January 25, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. — Pop singer Clay Aiken, who first made a name for himself as a contestant on “American Idol,” is considering a run for Congress in North Carolina’s 2nd District, a state Democratic Party consultant confirmed on Friday.

Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken

The “American Idol” runner-up from 2003 has talked with him and other advisers and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about whether to seek the seat now held by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, consultant Gary Pearce told The Associated Press.

The Washington Blade first reported the news earlier this month, citing unnamed sources.

“I was impressed with him,” said Pearce, who worked closely with former four-term Gov. Jim Hunt and with John Edwards’ 1998 U.S. Senate race. “He struck me as a very smart and serious person who had a sincere interest in representing his district.”

Pearce said he doesn’t know if he would be part of a campaign team if Aiken decides to run.

Aiken wouldn’t be alone in seeking the nomination. At least two Democrats — former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and Durham attorney Houston Barnes — have said they plan to run.

Ellmers, the incumbent, who won the office in 2010 as a tea party candidate, also will have competition as some Republicans have said they don’t think she’s conservative enough. Radio talk show host Frank Roche has said he plans to seek the GOP nomination.

Advertisement
Pearce said he thought Aiken would attract young and new voters and that his lack of previous political involvement would be a plus, especially with voters who “are disgusted with Washington.”

Aiken, who has made seven albums and appeared on reality TV and Broadway since “American Idol,” has spoken out against North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In 2009 and 2010, he spoke out against the Wake County school board majority that supported ending a diversity policy.

The 35-year-old Aiken is gay and has a son who was born through in-vitro fertilization. While that might be a negative in such a conservative district, Pearce said he believed most voters who wouldn’t support a gay candidate probably wouldn’t support a Democratic one either.

And voters are really concerned about one of two things, he said: “Why they work hard and can’t make ends meet or why they can’t find jobs.”

The filing deadline for the May 6 primary is Feb. 10.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , ,

Filed under: North Carolina

49 more reader comments:

  1. I wish he would run

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:53pm
  2. He should, as he already has a strong fan base with his music.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:54pm
  3. Claymates will be voting for American Idol, oh wait, for a future congressman… Lol.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:55pm
  4. looks like he put on some weight

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:56pm
  5. We need you Clay

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:56pm
  6. nanana….doogie howser for president!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:57pm
  7. Id vote for him!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:58pm
  8. Would not cast a vote for him.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:00pm
  9. He can’t be any worse than some of the other nut jobs. He seems pretty grounded.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:00pm
  10. I wonder if Reuben will beat him in this too…

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:05pm
  11. Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:13pm
  12. He’d be awesome,

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:13pm
  13. Excellent! He’s got be better than most running for office there.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:17pm
  14. A queen in congress.. .hmmmm….ok

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:19pm
  15. Meow!

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:32pm
  16. no vanity candidates. I vote no.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:24pm
  17. What a SICKO!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:31pm
  18. Wow please don’t.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:31pm
  19. Clay could help NC be more like Virginia and less like Alabama!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:33pm
  20. I guess he could be as viable as any other candidate if he can hold his own intellectually through the campaign. At least he knows how to keep a crowd entertained. Does anyone know anything about his aptitude??

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:38pm
  21. You go and be heard

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:50pm
  22. If all else fails he can sing for us

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:58pm
  23. Go for it

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:00pm
  24. Congress ain’t about singing, and I think he knows it!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:05pm
  25. Oh Myyy

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:08pm
  26. Go for it!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:15pm
  27. he couldn’t do any worse

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:42pm
  28. It will be interesting to see how this proceeds. He’s smart and he cares about kids and NC. I hope he gets a fair listen.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:42pm
  29. Shouldn’t his political views be more important that his singing?

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:58pm
  30. Sing in the white-house, that will clear them out.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:01pm
  31. gawd no….

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:17pm
  32. Probably make more $$ there than as a singing homeless man.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 12:02am
  33. It will certainly be an improvement to the current position holder!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 12:06am
  34. Is this because he can’t sing?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 12:18am
  35. What qualifications does he have?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 12:45am
  36. Don’t ruin your life with Government

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 1:10am
  37. What sort of qualifications does he have to be involved in politics?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:42am
  38. Do it Clay! You have to be better then most!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:47am
  39. I don’t think you have to be qualified. Look at the nincompoops currently in office, most of them don’t know their ass from their elbow.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:55am
  40. openly gay 2…awesome

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:26am
  41. Good For you Clay. Go for It. :-)

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:40am
  42. I guess ………

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:55am
  43. Why not it couldn’t get worse than what it is.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:50am
  44. Why?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:09am
  45. Better than Boehner

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:10am
  46. Send him to Indiana then to work on this stupid state! Where they are trying to legalize discrimination! Horrible!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:15am
  47. Here is my problem and one I’m hearing from many young voters of various parties in the state…we know nothing about him as a leader…many wish he would do a stint in state politics before trying to go to Washington…

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:21am
  48. All of you naysayers…you don’t KNOW him. Just because he sings??? That has NO bearing on who he is as a person and doesn’t cancel his political stance. Get over yourselves.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:37am
  49. Hey I’m a Claymate and he should run

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 10:05am