Entertainment :: Celebrities

Will Clay Aiken Run for Congress?

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Sunday Jan 26, 2014
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Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken  (Source:AP Photo/The Express-Times, Matt Smith)

Earlier this month "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken made news for considering making a congressional bid in his native North Carolina. Though nothing has been confirmed, sources claim that the singer is putting together a political campaign team, Raleigh’s CBS-affiliate station WRAL reports.

The unnamed sources told WRAL Thursday that Aiken, 35, is putting together a political team for a run for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. The sources said Aiken, who is a Raleigh native, spoke to Democratic consultants Betsy Conti, Nation Hahn and Gary Pearce, asking them for help to run for Congress. He also talked with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The pop star is expected to make an official announcement in February.

Earlier this month rumors circulated that Aiken was going to make a run, but the DCCC couldn’t confirm, the Huffington Post reports.

WRAL reports former state Commerce Sectary Keith Crisco and Durham attorney Houston Barnes have announced plans to run for the position, which is now held by Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, who will face a primary challenge.

Aiken placed second on "American Idol" in 2003, losing to Ruben Studdard. In 2008, he came out as gay.

HuffPo reports that the singer has spoken out against North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage laws in the past.

"The polls in North Carolina show that over 60 percent of North Carolinians actually support some recognition for same-sex couples, be it civil unions or domestic partnerships," he said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" in May 2012. "As North Carolinians see what it’s done, and what it will do, I think they will support the fact that President Obama did speak out on principle. ... I think we’d like to see politicians speak out on principle a little bit more."

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