Clay Aiken

In just one night, in 2003, Clay Aiken got 12 million votes.

That wasn't quite enough to win American Idol's second season, but his soaring vocals won him a record contract and legions of fans known as "Claymates."

Now, he needs far fewer votes — maybe 200,000 — to win a congressional seat representing the rural center of North Carolina. The odds are against him. Aiken is a Democrat in a district where the Republican incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers won by 15 percentage points two years ago.

Photo from the Renee Ellmers and Clay Aiken debate.
Jessica Jones

As we inch closer toward election day, healthcare remains an important issue for the campaigns. 

  The battle for the state’s 2nd congressional district is heating up and for the first time, Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers and Democratic challenger Clay Aiken faced off in a debate yesterday.

  

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers, Clay Aiken
Jessica Jones

Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers of the Second Congressional District and her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken, held their first and only debate in Pinehurst Tuesday. The hour-long event covered topics ranging from Islamic State militants to the Affordable Care Act, and it was contentious.

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers, Clay Aiken
Jessica Jones

Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers and her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken faced off at an hour-long debate Monday in Pinehurst. They discussed a number of topics, ranging from ISIS to the Affordable Care Act to immigration. Ellmers referred to Aiken several times as an "entertainer," and did her best to connect her opponent to President Obama.

"There's a clear choice here," said Ellmers. "Myself, who believes in conservative principles, or my opponent, who would be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama on so many issues."

Republican U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers will face her challenger, Democrat Clay Aiken in a debate today at Pinehurst.
 

The event will take place before a live audience at a North Carolina Bankers Association conference today. Ellmers is generally acknowledged to be leading the race in the second district. State legislators redrew it in 2011 to favor Republicans.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

It’s been a busy week for North Carolina politics.

The race for North Carolina’s congressional seat in the 2nd District is set. Former American Idol star Clay Aiken will face incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers in November.

State lawmakers also returned to Raleigh this week. They got started with new rules about protesting at the General Assembly.

Host Frank Stasio talks with the Political Junkie, Ken Rudin about North Carolina politics.

The contest for the Democratic nomination to North Carolina’s second congressional district was still too narrow today for either of the leading candidates, former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken and local businessman Keith Crisco, to declare victory.

The outcome of the race could be more than a week, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

Clay Aiken
Jessica Jones

A North Carolinian who gained fame through the TV show American Idol has decided to run for Congress. Clay Aiken officially declared his candidacy in the Second Congressional District Wednesday. The announcement has put a formerly sleepy race in the national spotlight.

Many people are familiar with Clay Aiken because of his impressive rise on the second season of American Idol. Although he emerged as the runner-up, Aiken later released a debut album that went straight to the top of the Billboard 200.

Judy Butler Flickr user mystuff1 / Wikipedia Creative Commons

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.