Clay Aiken wins close primary race in North Carolina, results show
May 13th, 2014
01:59 PM ET
5 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. Cin99

    Clay's heart is in the right place and I would vote for him if I were in N.C., but luckily I live in beautiful San Francisco.

    May 13, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Chris-E...al

    Well i bet he needs a hug and a big oh wet juicy french kiss from a 7ft talll muscle man maybe on t.v. tonight i can hardly wait . Good luck clay your the ? man ? ?

    May 13, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    We can only hope that the "celeb" will not win over the more qualified candidate, in the general election.

    May 13, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Well i bet he needs a hug and a big oh wet juicy french kiss from a 7ft talll muscle man maybe on t.v. tonight i can hardly wait . Good luck clay your the ? man ? ?"

    Seems you're less of a man than he is if you're so insecure in your own manhood that you had to go that route with your comment. Now, pick up your GI Joes and go put your jamjams on, it's time for your nappy.

    May 13, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Why is Ted Cruz smiling over he Government Shut Down $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ?

    Good Luck Clay !

    May 13, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. The Fact of the Matter

    'Crisco’s campaign confirmed that he had planned to concede on Tuesday.' Isn't that carrying it a bit too far?

    May 13, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. it must be said

    Quite impressive Dems.... He barely wins over a dead person! Don't the Dems know their own ruiles?! Dead people are only supposed to VOTE, not RUN!!

    May 13, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. OtisT

    I love it when I can win any contest over a dead guy.

    May 13, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. R Long

    Really they should have someone else run again.

    May 13, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. dt

    I have read headlines, but not seen a single picture of Clay. Is it the same guy from that tv show?

    May 13, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. El Warbo Grande

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

    May 13, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. 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.

    May 13, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. ronjeremy

    And all it takes to get a Republican to vote for you is an IQ less than Sarah Palin and Tan Boehner. I am amazed those 2 can even spell V.O.T.E.

    May 13, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Sky

    Hey Chris-E how is that any different than if a guy won and now all he needs is a nice juicy french kiss from a hot attractive woman?

    May 13, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "I asked the exact same questions a few weeks ago... the crickets were deafening."
    --------------------------------
    Please don't start making the same false assumptions as "smith" and "tom l." Just because you do not see a reply does not mean anything. Most likely, no one read it, had opportunity to reply before the thread closed, or a reply was moderated away, just like the reply that I just made.

    May 13, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Jackson

    Rick McDaniel

    We can only hope that the "celeb" will not win over the more qualified candidate, in the general election.

    _______________

    People like you love to talk about qualifications and experience....and then people like you are the first ones who talk about the same tired people getting elected and why there is no fresh blood in Washington.

    Look in the mirror. You are part of the problem.

    May 13, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Chris-E...al

    Your right he is .

    May 13, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. langor1

    His opponent died yesterday, I expect that probably impacted voter turnout.

    May 13, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. langor1

    So we can't point out that his opponent died. Ok, thanks censors.

    May 13, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Jackson

    it must be said

    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.

    _______________

    And yet, Jeb Bush is currently leading some GOP polls. But I'm sure the Bush name has zero to do with it, right? No "Bush dynasty", right?

    Schwarzeneggar is a Republican too. How'd he do for California?

    Your hypocrisy is laughable.

    May 13, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. langor1

    How about death of his opponent could have made a difference, does that meet the censorship standard?

    May 13, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Oakspar77777

    Crisco was the better man, by far. Sad that name recognition carries so much weight in even a mid-term.

    Still, neither had a chance in that district. I would just be less embarrassed for the Dems there had they put forward the guy with actual accomplishments.

    May 13, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. excuse my rant

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

    Give me a break.
    Arnold Schwartzenegger (R) – actor before being a governor
    Ronald Regan (R) – actor before being a governor and then president
    Fred Thompsen (R) – actor before being a senator
    Sonny Bono (R) – singer before being a congressman
    Jack Kemp (R) – football player before being a congressman
    Steve Largent (R) – football player before being a congressman

    Need I say more? Celebrities from both sides of the aisle become politicians. Claiming it is only the Democrats is misinformed at best, and dishonest at worst.

    May 13, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. El Warbo Grande Dos

    El Warbo Grande:

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

    Really? If I recall, Reagan was an actor, same with Schwarzenegger – and they are both Republicans – Comment FAIL!

    May 13, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Miguel

    Aiken is like Don Corleone...Don't mess with the dude. He will take you out if you get in his way.

    May 13, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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