‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Clay Aiken Might Run For Congress
American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice runner-up Clay Aiken is reportedly looking to run for office under the Democratic party. Aiken is rumored to be eying a seat to represent North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district in the House. Anonymous sources told The Washington Blade that Aiken contacted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to gauge interest in his plans for a political career. He has also reportedly been speaking with a Democratic strategist and pollsters in order to decide if he will run for office.
But despite his celebrity status, Aiken would be an overwhelming underdog against Republican Renee Elmers, who currently holds the seat. Aiken has until Feb. 28 to file his plans to run in the primary and would then need to defeat any other Democratic candidates in a Mar. 6 primary before taking on Elmers. It is expected that Democrat Keith Crisco will also announce his candidacy on Monday.
Although Aiken is best known as a singer, he has engaged in activism work throughout his career. He co-founded the National Inclusion Project, which aims to help kids with disabilities, and competed on behalf of the charity while competing on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012. He also appeared at a Capitol Hill briefing in 2010 to speak regarding laws on anti-bullying legislation that would protect LGBT students. Aiken was also appointed to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2006 by President George W. Bush.
It seems that a change in careers could also be a welcome move for Aiken. Although he has sold six million albums throughout his career and starred on Broadway in the 2008 production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, his star power has declined in recent years. His latest album, 2012’s Steadfast, sold a scant 5,000 copies.