‘American Idol’ Clay Aiken’s wins N.C. primary

‘American Idol’ Clay Aiken’s wins N.C. primary

CLAY FOR CONGRESS: The former "American Idol" contestant is running for office. Photo: Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken won the Democratic nomination for a U.S. congressional seat in North Carolina on Tuesday, a day after his main challenger died from a fall, official results showed.

Aiken, 35, earned the party’s nod in the 2nd congressional district by just 390 votes over opponent Keith Crisco, according to a final ballot count from the May 6 primary.

Crisco, a former North Carolina commerce secretary, did not immediately concede the election last week, saying the race was too close to call.

The contest took an unexpected turn on Monday, when Crisco, 71, died after a fall at his home in Asheboro. Friends told local media he had planned to concede on Tuesday.

The official tally of votes reported by the nine counties in the district showed Aiken with 40.86 percent and Crisco with 39.49 percent, enough to avoid both a recount and runoff had Crisco lived.

Third-place finisher Toni Morris took 19.65 percent of the vote.

After news of Crisco’s death, Aiken said would temporarily halt campaign activities.

Aiken’s 2003 “Idol” appearance launched a successful singing career, but he took a break from performing to run for Congress in his home state. He will face Republican incumbent U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers in November.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Recent Headlines

in Local

American Business Club of Springfield Waiting for State Fair Money

State Fair Vendor

Owed thousands by the state, one of the Illinois State Fair vendors is giving money away anyway.

in Local

St. John’s, Memorial Hospitals Help Enos Park

enos park

Springfield's two hospitals are on the first step of a three-year joint initiative that for now will help provide better access to health care in the Enos Park neighborhood.

in Local

Former Gov. Ryan Calls for Criminal Justice Reform


Former Gov. George Ryan is using examples from his own time in prison to call for changes to the criminal justice system.

in Local

Students from China Help Champaign-Urbana

university illinois

More than 5,200 students from China attend the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana.

in Local

Kent Gray Named Trump’s Illinois Campaign Director

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Manhattan after he signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee in the 2016 general election, ruling out a third-party or independent run.

Featuring: Donald Trump
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 03 Sep 2015
Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/

**Not available for publication in Germany, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia**

Gray directed reporters' inquiries to Hope Hicks, a national communications director for Trump, who wouldn't let us talk to him.