U.S. News


'American Idol' Alum Clay Aiken Running For Congress

Clay Aiken confirmed he's running for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Posted at 9:02 AM, Feb 05, 2014

He may not have won "American Idol," but he is hoping to win a seat in Congress.

Clay Aiken confirmed he's running for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (Via Fox

"I am not a politician. I don't ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back, at least to my corner of North Carolina, the idea that someone could go to Washington to represent all the people." (Via YouTube / Clay Aiken

The "Idol" season two runner-up is currently a special education teacher. He serves as a UNICEF ambassador and has advocated for gay and lesbian issues. (Via 19 Recordings Limited / Clay Aiken

He's seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers — who's running for re-election. (Via U.S. House of Representatives

Aiken has taken aim at her voting record on the government shutdown and cuts to military funding. "She ended up in DC and was changed by it. I went to Hollywood and I didn't let it change me." (Via The Charlotte News & Observer)   ​

But Ellmers isn't taking Aiken's challenge very seriously. She recently told a local radio station, "As we know he doesn't always fare all that well." (Via Politico

Aiken had previously hinted we was considering a run, and that had some state Democrats skeptical.  

As one told Roll Call: "It's a tough district. … It's a matter of can he tap into the base of folks who have been buying his albums for years?"

Even if he did score his party's nomination, The Washington Post notes the odds he'd beat his Republican challenger are slim. The district voted heavily for Romney in 2012. 

Aiken will take on at least two Democrats in the primary, including the state's former commerce secretary.