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Ear to the Ground

Rival’s Unexpected Death Makes Former ‘American Idol’ Singer the Democratic Nominee

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Posted on May 12, 2014

Photo from Clay Aiken/Facebook

Pop star Clay Aiken is now assured the nomination for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District after his primary rival died Monday.

Keith Crisco, a successful businessman and politician, had lost to Aiken in the district’s Democratic primary election last week, but the margin was so close—369 votes—he might have asked for a recount. Crisco was 71 and is reported to have died from a fall.

As of this posting Aiken’s campaign website is blacked out and carries a message that includes the following sentiment: “[Crisco] was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him.”

Aiken first became known to the public by narrowly losing the second season of “American Idol” in 2003. He would go on to release five studio albums.

The singer has a tough road ahead. He now must campaign against Renee Ellmers, a Republican incumbent in a district where Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by 18 points in 2012.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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