Democratic congressional hopeful Keith Crisco has died. He was 71 years old.
Crisco was set to be involved in a possible runoff with Clay Aiken in the 2nd congressional district. He died reportedly after a fall at his home in Asheboro Monday afternoon. The death was confirmed by an employee at Asheboro Elastics, the company Crisco co-founded.
The state Board of Elections released a statement on Crisco's passing.
"The State Board of Elections is saddened to hear of the passing of Keith Crisco," the statement reads. "A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco’s service to our state and his community through the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time."
Gov. Pat McCrory also offered his condolences.
“My heart sank, like so many other people who admired Keith Crisco, when I learned of his sudden passing,” said Governor McCrory. “While I was a mayor, and now as governor, Keith was a partner, collaborator and strong advocate for the state he loved. Although Keith was a Democrat and a Pfeiffer University graduate, and I went to Catawba and am a Republican, nothing could stop Keith Crisco from building a lasting friendship. North Carolina was blessed and is a better state because of his leadership."
Crisco was the Secretary of Commerce under former Gov. Bev Perdue. Crisco had been trailing Aiken in his congressional run by less than 400 votes. A canvas of those results is set for this week.
Last month on WUNC's The State Of Things, Crisco appeared to talk about his pursuit of the 2nd Congressional seat and his service to the state.