'American Idol' singer Clay Aiken to
run for Congress in North Carolina
Send a link to a friend
[February 05, 2014]
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) — Former "American Idol"
singer Clay Aiken said on Wednesday he will run for U.S. Congress as
a Democrat in his home state of North Carolina, where he once worked
as a special education teacher.
Aiken, 35, is likely to face a tough battle in his efforts to
unseat Republican Representative Renee Ellmers in the state's
conservative 2nd congressional district.
In a video on his campaign website, Aiken described past
challenges he had faced after his mother left his abusive father
and worked hard to provide what little she could.
He filmed the video in a small North Carolina home where he said
he and his mother slept for months on a mattress in a friend's
living room when he was young.
He noted his work teaching children with autism and his
international travels with aid organization UNICEF, bookends to
his runner-up finish in 2003 on the "American Idol" television
talent show that thrust him into the national spotlight.
"If you only know the part of my story that begins with a golden
ticket, something that still seems unbelievable to me even to
this day, you might wonder what would qualify me to run," Aiken
[to top of second column]
He became one of the more successful "American Idol" contestants,
releasing solo albums and appearing on Broadway in the spoof musical
"Monty Python's Spamalot."
In 2008, Aiken acknowledged he is gay and said he decided to come
out after becoming a father that year.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; editing
by James Dalgleish)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.