Teacher and former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken announced he'll run as a Democrat for the state's second Congressional district.
In a campaign video, he described his humble beginnings, growing up poor in North Carolina. He said he's got leadership experience.
“The years I spent as a special education teacher for students with autism was my first window into the difference that a person can make in someone's life. Then it was the years I spent with UNICEF traveling to places apart, like the war zones of Afghanistan and Somalia, where families had been torn apart, and hope was sometimes hard to find,” Aiken said.
He described himself as a centrist when he touted his appointment to President George W Bush's commission to address issues facing children with special needs.
He also criticized incumbent Congresswoman Renee Ellmers for supporting the government shutdown and military budget cuts.