Clay Aiken wins close primary race in North Carolina, results show
May 13th, 2014
01:59 PM ET
2 months ago

Clay Aiken wins close primary race in North Carolina, results show

(CNN) - County results certified Tuesday show “American Idol” star Clay Aiken as the winner of a Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina by fewer than 400 votes, one day after his chief opponent died suddenly.

The results from the May 6 vote were certified by the counties showing that he won the 2nd Congressional District contest over Keith Crisco and a third candidate.

Crisco, a respected businessman and a former top state official, died on Monday at his home.

The tally from the North Carolina Board of Elections showed Aiken with 11,678 votes, Crisco with 11,288, and Toni Morris, third with 5,616.

Until Tuesday, the contest was without a formal winner. Crisco’s campaign confirmed that he had planned to concede on Tuesday.

Aiken temporarily suspended campaign activities due to Crisco’s death.

"He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant," Aiken said in the tweet.

Aiken will meet Rep. Renee Ellmers, the two-term Republican who currently holds the seat, in November. He will face an uphill battle in the reliably conservative district, which is located in the central part of the state.

Ellmers, who was first elected in 2010 in a tea party-fueled wave, won re-election with 56% of the vote in 2012.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama in the district by a 58-41 margin – an even wider margin than Romney bested Obama in the state overall, 50-48.

She handily defeated conservative talk-radio host Frank Roche in her primary.

CNN's Leigh Ann Caldwell and Mark Preston contributed to this report.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

Related: 5 takeaways from election night


Filed under: 2014 • House • North Carolina
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    it must be said

    El Warbo Grande
    It just goes to show. All it takes to get Democrats to vote for you is celebrity and/or minority status.
    -

    Low IQ voters use name recognition most of the time. It is why you get idiots like Franken, Aiken, kids of former politicians, Kennedy/Clinton dynasties, etc.
    ============================================================
    It must be pointed out that 9 out of the the 10 least educated states are all solid red states that voted for Romney.

    May 13, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. shawn L

    Crisco really eased Aikins entry... into politics

    May 13, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. gerry

    So glad Clay Aiken won. Finally we have a chance ! !

    May 13, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Jarma

    El Warbo Grande
    It just goes to show. All it takes to get Democrats to vote for you is celebrity and/or minority status.

    Hmmm...........Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, and Clint Eastwood. What do they have in common? They were Republicans.

    May 13, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. alnnc

    His opponent was not dead on election day. In fact, he was in good health for his age. He died from an accident after voting day. As far as Aiken's qualifications, he has as much as his GOP opponent, who was an office manager of her husband's medical practice in a town of about 10,000 when elected.

    May 13, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. copernicus222

    some moron wrote:
    "Low IQ voters use name recognition most of the time. It is why you get idiots like Franken, Aiken, kids of former politicians, Kennedy/Clinton dynasties, etc."

    Al Franken is way, way cooler than this guy.....
    but i'll take either one of them them over a a racist republican bible thumper any day.

    May 13, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    Jarma
    El Warbo Grande
    It just goes to show. All it takes to get Democrats to vote for you is celebrity and/or minority status.

    Hmmm...........Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, and Clint Eastwood. What do they have in common? They were Republicans
    -------

    you forgot "Gopher" Grandy. Surely HE was a qualified candidate?

    May 13, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. FromNC

    Just to clear this up because there seems to be some confusion: The election was held last week. The results were so close that there was a possibility of a run-off between Mr. Aiken and Mr. Crisco. This was not a case of a candidate dying *before* the votes had been cast.

    May 13, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. ebraiter

    Not being nasty here, but this reminds me of a Night Court TV episode in the 80s [I think] when a dead guy won a political challenge over John Laroquette's Dan Fielding by a vote.

    May 13, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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