(CNN) - Clay Aiken says his "American Idol" fame is both a blessing and a curse as he runs for Congress in his native North Carolina.
"It's both. You know, you've got to get people to see me in a different light. Getting the opportunity to talk to people about the issues that are affecting them and talk about how I want to help people, gets people to see me in a different light. It's a blessing in the fact that it gets me in the room, but I have to overcome the fact that people see me in one way and not the other," Aiken said Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.
Washington (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee will announce Tuesday that it raised nearly $9 million last month, and that it's made major strides in reducing its debt.
According to a DNC official, the party committee has paid off all of its bank debt, while it continues to pay off around $7 million it still owes vendors. The DNC's total debt reached a high of $22.5 million following the 2012 elections, and remained around $15 million as recently as three months ago.
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell uses sports metaphors to describe why he should be re-elected and not sacked by Democrat Alison Grimes, who would be Kentucky's first woman senator.
"Change the U.S. Senate and make me the offensive coordinator instead of the defensive coordinator," McConnell said to a small but enthusiastic crowd in Bowling Green.
"Sports fans know you can score on defense, but it's hard. When you're on offense, you get to call the plays and set the agenda for Kentucky and for America. That's what makes a big difference."
Updated 5:01 p.m. ET, 5/20/2014
Trenton, New Jersey (CNN) - A former campaign staffer for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie testified on Tuesday before a special legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Matt Mowers, who now runs the Republican Party in New Hampshire, is the third witness to testify before panel members at the Statehouse Annex in Trenton.