‘American Idol’ Clay Aiken’s wins N.C. primary

‘American Idol’ Clay Aiken’s wins N.C. primary

CLAY FOR CONGRESS: The former "American Idol" contestant is running for office. Photo: Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken won the Democratic nomination for a U.S. congressional seat in North Carolina on Tuesday, a day after his main challenger died from a fall, official results showed.

Aiken, 35, earned the party’s nod in the 2nd congressional district by just 390 votes over opponent Keith Crisco, according to a final ballot count from the May 6 primary.

Crisco, a former North Carolina commerce secretary, did not immediately concede the election last week, saying the race was too close to call.

The contest took an unexpected turn on Monday, when Crisco, 71, died after a fall at his home in Asheboro. Friends told local media he had planned to concede on Tuesday.

The official tally of votes reported by the nine counties in the district showed Aiken with 40.86 percent and Crisco with 39.49 percent, enough to avoid both a recount and runoff had Crisco lived.

Third-place finisher Toni Morris took 19.65 percent of the vote.

After news of Crisco’s death, Aiken said would temporarily halt campaign activities.

Aiken’s 2003 “Idol” appearance launched a successful singing career, but he took a break from performing to run for Congress in his home state. He will face Republican incumbent U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers in November.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Musical morning announcements with Gabrielle Union and Jimmy Fallon


Your vice principal probably never delivered the morning announcements like this.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: ‘The Walking Dead’ gets the ‘Friends’ treatment


What if the hit TV show used a more upbeat opening theme song?

in Music

Taylor Swift dominates American Music Awards nominations


Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5, Drake, Nicki Minaj, One Direction and Sam Smith are among the artists competing for an AMA trophy.

in Music

Bobby Brown working on ‘unvarnished’ memoir


Get ready for a "raw and unvarnished" memoir by Bobby Brown.

in Entertainment

Another George R.R. Martin TV adaptation is in the works


"Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin is throwing his support behind a planned TV adaptation of his 1988 novel "The Skin Trade."