American Idol star Clay Aiken to run again for Congress in North Carolina

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Clay Aiken Politicon 2019 – Day 1
Clay Aiken attends the 2019 Politicon at Music City Center on October 26, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon)

American Idol star Clay Aiken wants to represent the Triangle as he runs for a North Carolina seat in Congress.

According to his Twitter page and a campaign website, Aiken, 43, is running for the state’s new 6th Congressional District seat, which represents Orange and Durham counties and part of western Wake County. The district could change depending on the results of a lawsuit contesting the state’s new congressional map.

Aiken, a Democrat, joins a field that includes State Sen. Wiley Nickel, D-Wake, and state Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-Orange. Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam and Richard Watkins, a Durham virologist, are also running to represent the district.

The winner would replace Rep. David Price, who announced his retirement in October.

Aiken says that, if elected, he would use his voice “to deliver on needed progressive policies – from stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality and gun violence, to securing voting rights, free health care, and a woman’s right to choose.”

Aiken says that, if elected, he would use his voice “to deliver on needed progressive policies – from stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality and gun violence, to securing voting rights, free health care, and a woman’s right to choose.”

He would be the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress elected from the South, his campaign said.

Aiken, a Raleigh native and former teacher, previously ran for Congress in 2014 but conceded to Renee Ellmers for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Before appearing on American Idol in 2003, he taught special education. Although Aiken lost American Idol to Ruben Studdard, he became a household name, releasing multiple albums and using his fame to bring awareness to multiple social and political issues.

He founded The National Inclusion Project to help children with special needs and advocated for humanitarian efforts in war-torn and tragedy-stricken countries on behalf of UNICEF as a National Goodwill Ambassador, according to his website.

Watch Clay Aiken announce his run for Congress in North Carolina

YouTube video

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