Former "American Idol" finalist and "Celebrity Apprentice" runner-up Clay Aiken has thrown his hat in the ring in a local Congressional race in North Carolina, according to ABC News, Feb. 5, 2014. Citing his career as a special education teacher and UNICEF representative and a member of the Presidential Commission on Education as his qualifications for his Congressional campaign, Aiken is seeking the Democratic Party Congressional nomination in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District.
Aiken has two formidable opponents for the nomination of his own party, including former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, and licensed counselor Toni Morris. The 2nd Congressional District's incumbent now is Renee Ellmers, a Republican who Aiken most likely will face in the general election if he wins the Democratic nomination in North Carolina.
In making a reference to his "golden ticket" when he was a runner up in the 2003 American Idol competion, Aiken stated the following:
"For most Americans, there are no golden tickets — at least not like the kind you see on TV. More families are struggling today than at any time in our history, and here in North Carolina, we've suffered more than our share of pain."
Proving that he has just a hint of the idealism portrayed by James Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," Aiken made reference to the ideal reason that at least some people run for Congress, even those who do not consider themselves politicians:
"I'm not a politician. I don't ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back — at least to my corner of North Carolina — the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not."